Happy New Year! Did you have a wonderful holiday break? We did too!
We thought we would begin our posts for 2013 with our first trip to the grocery store upon returning to Singapore. We found a very impressive vegetable – one that we had never seen on the shelf before – albeit an unlabeled one. We didn’t know what it was called but we bought it anyway. Can you guess what it is?
It is bright green and has lots of spikes spiraling around it that look like tiny little versions of the whole thing. On those tiny spikes there are yet smaller versions getting smaller and smaller – making it a great example of a natural fractal. It is one of the most striking vegetables we have ever seen.
Still haven’t guessed it?
This vegetable actually has many names. In Italy it is called broccolo Romanesco and in France Romanesco cabbage. Most of us would call it Romanesco broccoli or Romanesco cauliflower. The reason for all the ambiguity is due to it being a cross between a broccoli and cauliflower. Don’t know where the spikes came from though… (!?)
It was first documented in Italy in the 16th century and it is related to cabbage, Brussels sprouts and turnips. There is also a very similar vegetable called the broccoflower that is a similar colour but doesn’t come with the amazing pattern.
You can eat Romanesco broccoli any way you would broccoli or cauliflower. We decided to give ours a light stir-fry. It had a very pleasant nutty taste – I guess you could say halfway between a broccoli and a cauliflower! ProduceExpress.net recommends putting it with lemon, olive oil, shallots, pinenuts, reggiano parmesan and maybe with some fresh pasta.
It is definitely a vegetable we would recommend you try, even only to admire its beautiful pattern. Perhaps we will try to grow them ourselves some day!