Top 5 Ways to Use Romanesco

If you’ve ever spotted the chartreuse, intriguingly shaped Romanesco cauliflower at your local farmers market or natural food store, you’ve probably been tempted to buy a head of this gorgeous cruciferous vegetable straight away. And when it comes to this amazing, nutritious vegetable, follow your instinct and bring it home! Hailing from Northern Italy, this type of cauliflower has tightly compacted florets attached to a stalk, which rise in pointed, spiraling cones, rather than budding florets you see in conventional cauliflower. While it looks unique, its taste is similar to cauliflower, so use it in any dish in which you would use cauliflower. It makes for beautiful fresh veggie platters, or as an appetizer paired with a colorful dip. But it’s also fabulous in pasta dishes, salads, grain dishes, soups, and—my favorite—roasted. And remember, all types of cauliflower are packed with fiber and sulfur compounds linked with cancer protection, so eat away!

When you have something as beautiful as Romanesco in your kitchen, it’s all about minimal food preparation, as you want to draw attention to the beautiful plant food. In fact, Romanesco’s striking geometric nature, with its series of smaller buds arranged in a logarithmic spiral, when the smallest bud becomes sufficiently small, represents a Fibonacci number! Leave it to Mother Nature, right? So now you’re probably thinking, “Well, what do I do with it?” Just clean the head, and then separate it into florets (you can also roast the whole head for a stunning dish!) to add to your favorite recipes. To get you started, here are a few simple, delicious ways you can showcase Romanesco in your meals.

Top 5 Ways to Use Romanesco

Use Romanesco in any recipe that calls for cauliflower, such as this recipe for Vegan Cauliflower Spinach Lasagna.

1. Substitute it for Cauliflower. Romanesco and cauliflower go hand in hand, as they are in the same family, and have very similar in taste, texture, and versatility. Since they have similar characteristics, it’s super simple to use Romanesco instead of conventional cauliflower in any of your favorite recipes. The beautiful green color can add more intrigue to the dish too. My favorite cauliflower recipes for showcasing Romanesco include Cauliflower Steaks with Puttanesca Sauce, Healthy Buffalo Cauliflower with Ranch Dip, and Vegan Cauliflower Spinach Lasagna.

Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower with Raisins and Pine Nuts

2. Roast the Romanesco. My favorite way to serve Romanesco is roasted in a simply prepared dish, such as this Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower recipe. Break it into smaller pieces, toss with olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings, pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes, add some pine nuts and raisins, and buon appetito!

Curried Lentil Cauliflower Salad

3. Add it to a Salad. Looking for an exciting new salad? Just add some vibrant green Romanesco to the mix! All you have to do is blanch it, and toss it into a veggie, pulse, or whole grain salad, along with a flavorful vinaigrette. You can use Romanesco instead of conventional cauliflower in these classic recipes for Curried Lentil Cauliflower Salad, Cool Mint Cauliflower Salad, and Purple Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

4. Build Your Own Romanesco Cauliflower Bowl. If you’re looking for a quick break from grains, then Romanesco cauliflower can be a great base for your next plant-based power bowl. It’s quick and easy to make cauliflower rice for low-carb, grain-free recipes. And starting with Romanesco for your cauliflower rice bowl simply amplifies the color.

Easy Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos

5. Use it as a Topping. Whether it’s on tacos, grain bowls, lasagna, or salads, Romanesco cauliflower is a great addition to just about any dish. Not only does it enhance the flavor of the recipe, it also adds an extra source of nutrients without you even realizing it. Try topping your favorite recipes with this vegetable today!

For more guides on how to eat plant foods, check out:

Top 5 Ways to Use Sweet Potatoes
Top 5 Ways to Use Blackberries
Top 5 Ways to Use Avocados

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