Romanesco, scientifically known as Brassica oleracea, is a one-of-a kind edible flower that originated in Italy in the 16th century. Also known as Roman cauliflower, Romanesque cauliflower or Broccolo Romanesco, it has a similar appearance to cauliflower and broccoli but has a spiral pattern on its head and composite buds. It typically weighs between 300 and 500 grams and ranges in colour from yellow to green. Soft and crunchy, romanesco offers a variety of health benefits.
How Does Romanesco Cauliflower Grow?
Romanesco is a cruciferous vegetable that can be planted in your backyard garden between March and June. It needs to be watered daily or as otherwise whenever needed and requires plenty of sunlight and space to grow. The soil should be fertilized. It prefers cool climates.
Health Benefits of Romanesco Cauliflower
Eating Romanesco cauliflower gives you a lot of health benefits. One of these is its vitamin C content, which is beneficial for the immune system to help the body grow and develop. Vitamin C maintains brain function and protects our bodies from the cold and flu. Meanwhile, the vitamin K in it promotes bone health and reduces our risk of fractures. Dietary fiber, also found in Romanesco, prevents constipation and generally helps with digestions. Cartenoids help improve eyesight and skintone.
One of the best health benefits of romanesco is that it lowers cholesterol, thus improving heart health. Romancesco has antioxidants to protect us against the damage caused by free radicals, and scientific studies show that the vegetable contains kaemferol, which further prevents the formation of cancer cells and slows down tumor growth.
Romanesco is rich in minerals but low in calories, and it is a perfect addition to a vegan diet. Studies even suggest that it is a natural antidepressant and helps ease mood swings, while others say the vegetable is antibacterial and anti-microbial.
Other health benefits derived from this cauliflower are a healthier respiratory and cardiovascular system, well-developed muscles and an intake of folate, which helps those suffering from anemia and infertility. It can also protect the liver from toxic substances, thanks to its rhodanide and glucosinolates
To summarize the nutrients gained from eating Romanesco, it is rich in vitamins A, B, C and K. It is also rich in minerals such as manganese, protein, potassium and omega-3s.
10 Delicious Romanesco Cauliflower Recipes
There are many ways to eat Romanesco cauliflower. You can consume it raw, steamed or sautéed without losing its health benefits. When shopping for it at the store, choose those that have a firm head and are heavier than you’d expect. Sometimes you’ll find the vegetable sealed in plastic to preserve its freshness. You should soak the vegetable in salt water before preparing it as there may be some small insects in it that need to be drawn out. Complementary herbs include thyme, while it is also delicious with parmesan, spices and nuts. You can try:
- Stir-fried romanesco
- Roasted romanesco with soup and dry-cured ham ( prosciutto)
- Romanesco with broad bean salad
- Romanesco spaghetti
- Romanesco seasonal salad (autumn and winter)
- Smoked romanesco with celery root and broccoli soup
- Romanesco with spicy green sauce (salsa verde)
- Romanesco with asparagus and leek rart
- Romanesco with Indian pakora and tamarind raisins
- Roasted romanesco with dumplings in harissa sauce