IT'S ALIVE!!! And it's SPIKY. Have you ever seen such a fascinating piece of food??
This spiky thing is called Broccoli Romanesco. When I saw it on our CSA box's list, my first reaction upon Googling it's image was "oooooooooo so cooooool." Then I started geeking out about the fact that it is a perfect representation of mathematical fractals in food form. I'm not going to get into it, but if you like pointless pieces of trivia, just Google "fractal broccoli" and get really excited about pretty stuff like this.
Moving on to the food side of things. This Broccoli Romanesco is sort of a mix between cauliflower and broccoli. It's texture and taste is much more like cauliflower with a hint of a broccoli flavor. In honor of this, I decided to combine my favorite way to cook broccoli (lemon-walnut flavored) with my favorite way to cook cauliflower (slow roasted). Gotta do this crazy plant justice, right?
One time I was roasting cauliflower and I forgot about it for like, a long time, and it became a super crunchy, nutty, delicious little bunch of cauliflower bites and I was in love. In fact, I ate half of it right off the baking sheet, and the other half cold the next morning while I was making my breakfast. Yeah. Apparently the people these days are calling it "Cauliflower Popcorn." I call it mistakenly slow-cooked crunchy awesome cauliflower. I used the very same method to make this broccoli, but mixed in lemon and walnuts, which is what I like to flavor my roasted broccoli with. It's really a winning combination all around.
Toss the walnuts in there in the last 20 minutes or so of roasting so they don't get burnt! (Not that I would know anything about that...)
These showed up in the CSA box and I've never seen them at the grocery store, so I'm really not sure how much they cost. I do know that they are an heirloom vegetable, which means they're definitely healthy. You can absolutely substitute cauliflower and keep everything the same, or broccoli and cut the cooking time down to 15-20 minutes.
And Broccoli Romanesco is today's #newfoodfriday at GetFreshSD, so check it out!
Lemon Walnut Roasted Broccoli Romanesco
- 1-2 heads broccoli romanesco
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon walnuts
- ½ lemon juiced
- salt pepper to taste
- Remove the florets from the head of romanesco, just like you would broccoli or cauliflower.
- Toss in 2 tablespoon olive oil, then add salt, pepper, and ½ the lemon juice.
- Roast on parchment-lined or greased baking dish or baking sheet on 425 for approximately 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes, and toss in the walnuts for the last 15 minutes.
- Top with the remaining lemon juice and optional grated parmesan cheese and serve!