Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ode to the Gorgeous Romanesco

Healthy Foods - Romanesco
Like a bright bloom comprised of smaller clusters of conical flowers, the romanesco broccoli is quite a breathtaking sight to behold. Piled in a stunning iridescent, green heap alongside the broccoli and cauliflower heads in the produce section of the local grocery, it stood out rather perfectly, albeit awkwardly—a gorgeous veggie looking more like an exotic blossom fit for grand floral arrangements than the soup pot.

But just like its broccoli and flower cousins, the nutritional value of the romanesco: loads of good old Vitamin C, carotenoids, and fiber isn't something nutritionists could easily overlook. Nor is its taste—somewhat spicy and nutty—too blah for the palate to easily forget. To date, many different recipes have been contrived making use of the romanesco.

However, although its beauteous fractal pattern strikes most people to be quite bizaare, cooks say that romanesco hardly differs from broccoli or cauliflower in terms of culinary preparation. Best eaten raw, it could also be steamed, blanched, or stir-fried. Some chef's claim that butter or other light flavored sauces perfectly sets off its natural taste, hence making romanesco one of the best dipping vegetables around—in the same league as celery and carrot sticks.

Written By: Maris Modesto

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