Posted by: Kath Usitalo | December 9, 2010

Out Of This World Veggie

Romanesco broccoli is also known as Roman cauliflower and coral broccoli

Until last Saturday vegetables had never been an alien life form in our home. Unlike one of our kid’s friends who years ago said, “My mom hasn’t introduced us to that part of the food pyramid yet,” veggies are on our menu every night, sometimes as the main course.

We’ve tried a fairly wide range of produce, so maybe that’s why we were so blown away last weekend on our Christmas tree excursion to Detroit’s Eastern Market when we discovered broccoli’s brother from another planet.

The sight of it stopped us in our tracks. Romanesco broccoli is an other worldly-looking edible flower that is related to cauliflower and dates to the 16th century. It’s amazing to look at, with conical buds made of smaller buds in a repeating spiral pattern. Suitable for framing.

The farmer, from Riley Center west of Port Huron, said it was his last harvest of the season; at just $2 a head we bought one and I wished we’d tripled the haul.

Simply roasted with a bit of garlic olive oil, we concurred that its flavor leaned cauliflower but with a slightly sweet and nutty taste. And it is more tender, making it easier to chew, savor and swallow than cauliflower or broccoli.

Are we the last ones on earth to have discovered Romanesco?

Better late than never.



  1. Wow! I’d also never heard of such a thing!!

    • So glad I’m not the only one…it’s fun to “discover” goodies like this.

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