Romanesco broccoli is a vegetable with a unique appearance, like some sort of alien plant. Due to its nontraditional shape, people often joke around that it was brought to our planet by extraterrestrials.
Despite its strange shape, Romanesco broccoli is incredibly healthy and easily digestible. It's been cultivated since the 16th century in the regions surrounding Rome. Dutch gardeners had been improving on the variety for years and eventually gave Romanesco broccoli to the world.
Romanesco broccoli is made up of rosettes, consisting of small pyramids, forming a nearly geometric shape, almost a fractal. This makes its overall appearance exceptionally attractive. The English call it Romanesco broccoli, the French - cabbage, and the Germans and Poles - cauliflower. It is not only a delicious vegetable but a very healthy one at that.
Composition of Romanesco Broccoli
Romanesco broccoli contains a number of beneficial substances and vitamins. It's rich in zinc, beta carotene, vitamins A, C and K, iron and folic acid, mineral salts.
3.5 oz (100 g) of Romanesco broccoli contain 25 calories, 0.3 g fat, 2.3 g carbohydrates, 2.4 g proteins.
Choosing and Storing Romanesco Broccoli
You won't find Romanesco broccoli in just any supermarket but mostly in health food stores. Romanesco broccoli has a pleasant, light green color. When buying it, make sure there's no spots of rot on it. Store it in a fridge, wrapped well in a plastic bag.
Culinary Use of Romanesco Broccoli
Romanesco broccoli is perfect for adding some variety to the menu. It's very filling, while also containing very few calories and belonging to the group of the most easily digestible vegetables. Romanesco broccoli is cooked similarly to cauliflower and regular broccoli. It can be used in nearly any dishes traditionally made with broccoli and cauliflower.
There are several ways to best prepare it. One way is to steam it and then soak it with your favorite vinaigrette sauce. Or saute it in a little butter with coarse grain mustard. Another way is to bake it with a little olive oil, along with asparagus and olives.
Romanesco broccoli is also often found under the name Roman cauliflower. Its taste is reminiscent of cauliflower but its consistency is significantly softer. Romanesco broccoli makes for a wonderful appetizer when torn into rosettes and steam cooked. It can be combined with a sauce of cheeses or cream. The suitable spices for this vegetable are the more aromatic ones - thyme, garlic and others. Romanesco broccoli can be the perfect garnish to various meats and fish.
Romanesco broccoli is absolutely perfect for breading. All you need is 1 large head of Romanesco broccoli, 2 eggs, spice mix, 1 tbsp grated cheese and enough flour to get a thick mash.
Tear the Romanesco broccoli into pyramids. Put them in boiling water and boil them. Take them out and drain them from the water. Roll them in the batter (made ahead of time from the other ingredients). Fry in hot oil, drain from it. For a unique taste, serve the crumbed Romanesco broccoli with a sauce of mayonnaise, yoghurt, dill and garlic.
Benefits of Romanesco Broccoli
One of the biggest advantages to this vegetable is that it's extremely easily digestible. It doesn't overload the stomach and fills you up fast, making it exceptionally suitable for people with a more sensitive stomach.
Due to its high content of zinc, Romanesco broccoli helps treat oral cavity ailments and restores taste bud function. It gets rid of that unpleasant metallic taste in your mouth and allows for the complete enjoyment of the different tastes. Every person has experienced this metallic aftertaste at least once and its ruining of the taste of food.
Romanesco broccoli gets rid of apathy and nervousness, which is why it's frequently consumed by actors and singers with the aim of eliminating their stage fright. If you find yourself speaking in public in the near future, don't reach for pills but for Romanesco broccoli.