Romanesco, Romanesco Where Art Thou?

This week we have the romanesco cauliflower, which some deem as the Lady Gaga of brassicas, in both the standard and small boxes. The link has a fitting eulogy to this stunning lime-coloured masterpiece of nature’s art:

“Unapologetic, captivating, a bit peculiar. Certainly there isn’t a more stylish vegetable.

With its kaleidoscopic spires and minarets, it looks like it could be some kind of architectural coral from the ocean floor…or Mars. The fractal nature of broccoli romanesco’s structure is quite stunning, and what’s even more remarkable, the number of spirals on a head of romanesco is a Fibonacci number.

Sometimes called “Roman cauliflower” the lineage of the vegetable indeed goes back to cauliflower, and it has the same texture of cauliflower, but the flavour is closer to that of broccoli, except more subdued.”

Its mild and sweet flavour is great roasted or stir fried with a squeeze of lemon, a taste of salt, a crush of garlic and scatter of chilli flakes if you like it. Or try the Roman recipe of Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper) for a Roman veg, sauteed in olive oil and garlic, and simply adorned with Pecorino Roman cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Since our last post on cauliflower we have also discovered this amazing Jamie Oliver whole baked cauliflower with tomato and olive sauce. We love the absolute minimal prep as you don’t even have to cut the cauliflower into the usual florets and you can come back an hour later from the school run or a workout to dinner ready to be served. It gently steams the entire head to perfect tenderness and best of all keeps the beautiful creation intact until you finally have to eat it. A true hob to table dish.

The little Star Wars Amidala-style cornets or Christmas tree forest of florets simply disengage off the cauliflower head, or you could crumble more finely if preferred into a wonderful pasta sauce, or alternatively serve with cous cous. Leave out the anchovies if vegetarian but even if you didn’t think you like anchovies try it in this recipe – it gives the dish its distinctive edge and umami flavour yet you would barely notice it is there.

On what to do with some of the other vegetables in your veg box here are a few ideas, some of which from our past newsletters/ blog posts:

  • Golden Beetroot – Have a look at Golden Beet Balls blog post for some ideas on how to eat them which has some photos to inspire you
  • Sprout Tops – Check out our past Sprouting Tops write-ups
  • Bulls Blood – An heirloom beet grown for tender, sweet, deep red-burgundy / magenta foliage. Alittle like chard so cook them as you will for spinach or chard

Also, starting this week the box labels will list the contents for the week so that you can check off against it when you collect your box. Do get in touch if there are any issues!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Valour Potatoes, Lincs
* Carrots, Lancs
* Red Onions, Kent
* Golden Beetroot, Lancs
* Romanesco Cauliflower, Lancs
Sweetcorn, Kent
Sprout Tops, Lancs
Spinach, Perry Court
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Bulls Blood, Perry Court

Fruit Supplement
Conference Pears, Kent (standard only)
Avocado, Spain


3 thoughts on “Romanesco, Romanesco Where Art Thou?

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