Broccoli Romanesco looks like a small, pale green cauliflower and is increasingly easy to find in our winter produce markets. It has more flavor than cauliflower but is milder than broccoli. Like both these vegetables, Romanesco has a sturdy texture that becomes tender when cooked using a popular Italian method of browning, then steaming.
In this recipe, a head of broccoli Romanesco is broken into small pieces, browned with garlic and olive oil, pan steamed until tender, and then dusted with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. This makes a hearty weekday vegetable that cooks in only 10 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
2 heads of broccoli Romanesco (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
2 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Core the heads of broccoli Romanesco and cut or break the heads into small bite-sized florets to make about 5 cups.
- In a sauté pan that has a cover, place the olive oil and bring to a moderate heat.
- Add the pieces of sliced garlic and the broccoli Romanesco florets and cook over a moderate heat until the garlic and the edges of the florets are browned.
- Add the water, a pinch of salt, and several grinds of pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes until the water gradually dissipates and the florets become tender.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle the grated cheese on the cooked florets. Toss to combine.
- Serve immediately.
Tip: This cooking method can also be deliciously used with either broccoli or cauliflower.