Romanesco Cauliflower

Information For Shoppers

Romanesco broccoli

About: Romanesco broccoli, or Roman cauliflower, is an edible flower of the species Brassica oleracea, and a variant form of cauliflower. Romanesco broccoli resembles a cauliflower, but is of a light green color and the inflorescence (the bud) has an approximate self-similar character, with the branched meristems making a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the broccoli’s shape approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels.

Although in Italy there are a number of recipes dedicated to Romanesco broccoli, in the rest of the world it is usually prepared like conventional broccoli. Like conventional broccoli, overcooking Romanesco will result in a texture some people find unpleasant. The texture is more tender than cauliflower, making it suited to raw use as crudités. Romanesco broccoli has a milder flavor, more creamy and nutty, and less bitter, than conventional broccolli and cauliflower.

How to Use: Romanesco cauliflower can be served raw or cooked. Raw romanesco can be added to salads. Serve cooked as an accompanying vegetable it goes particularly well with chicken or fish dishes. Serve it simply steamed or dress with melted butter or olive oil and lemon juice. Romanesco cauliflower can be added to stir-fry dishes and cooked florets make a tasty and colourful addition to pasta sauces or bakes.

How to Prepare: Romanesco cauliflower is often sold ready-trimmed so there is very little wastage. Trim the stalk using a small sharp knife. Cut into even-sized florets and rinse in cold water.

How to Cook: Romanesco can be boiled, steamed or stir-fried. It is easy to overcook Romanesco and its beautiful vivid bright green colour turns to a dull greenish grey and it loses its crisp texture. To boil, place the florets in a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 6–8 minutes. To steam, place it in a steamer and cook for 6–8 minutes. To stir-fry, break it into bite-sized florets, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and add the florets, cook for 4–5 minutes or until tender.

How to Store: Keep refrigerated after purchase.

Like the rest of the broccoli family the Romanesco is an exceptionally healthy vegetable rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, fibre, and carotenoids.Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled. Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.

Vitamins, Minerals & Phytochemicals

Is ‘High In':

  • Beta-carotene (Pro-vitamin A)
  • Folate
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

Also contains:

  • Betacarotene (Carotenoids)
  • Lignans (Phytoestrogens)
  • Lutein (Carotenoids)
  • Quercetin (Flavonoids: Flavonols)
  • Rutin (Flavonoids: Flavonols)

Nutritional Information:

100g Romanesco cauliflower, boiled, typically contains
24 kcals,
3.1g protein,
0.8g fat,
1.1g carbohydrate,
2.3g fibre