Broccoli Baby Romanesco
Inventory, 24 ct : 0
Baby Romanesco are small and conical shaped, roughly 6 centimeters wide and 5 centimeters tall. Each is made of little clusters yellowish-green flowers, called curds, that are packed tightly into a spiral, radiating outward to a point. Tender yet crisp, green cabbage-like leaves wrap around each head from the bottom, like fingers. The taste is like broccoli, yet slightly sweeter, nuttier and earthier. The dense texture of Baby Romanesco is like cauliflower, giving it a crunchy bite.
Baby Romanesco is available year-round with a peak season in the fall through spring months.
Baby Romanesco are the immature heads of the showy cruciferous vegetable called Romanesco. They are referred to sometimes as Baby Broccoli Romanesco or Baby Cauliflower Romanesco in North America. In France, they are Baby Romanesco cabbage, while in Italy they are called Broccolo Romanesco. Botanically, they are classified as Brassica oleracea var. botrytis and are a hybrid cross between broccoli and cauliflower. Its spiralized appearance is reminiscent of the famous Fibonacci sequence.
Baby Romanesco is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber, B-complex vitamins and vitamin A. It is a source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Romanesco also contains phytochemicals like kaempferol, sulforaphane and isothiocyanate, which provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Baby Romanesco can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be prepared like cauliflower: steamed, braised, roasted or grilled. Blanch the small heads whole or cut in half and shock in an ice bath to prevent overcooking. Use them for purees, chop to add to salads Sauté them alone, with onions or other aromatics, or add to stir fry. Pair Baby Romanesco with sharp cheeses like gruyere or parmesan, garlic, olive oil, parsley, nuts, lemon zest, red chile pepper, and creamy bechamel or hollandaise sauce. Use as a substitute in recipes calling for broccoli, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts. Add to quiche or pair with poultry or fish. Baby Romanesco can be pickled and canned like cauliflower. Baby Romanesco will keep in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The name Romanesco comes from an Italian dialect spoken in Rome since the 16th century. The local dialect is influence by Florentine, Neapolitan and Latin and after the Sack of Rome in 1527, Tuscan. After Rome was declared the capital of Italy in the latter part of the 19th century, the Romanesco dialect began falling out of favor. Few Romanesco expressions and words are in use today, many being relegated to slang and colloquialism.
Romanesco is native to northern Italy and botanists believe it dates to 16th century Rome and is the result of purposeful selection by farmers. All Brassica species are native to Italy and the eastern Mediterranean region and the highest degree of variation in the species exists in Italy. Romanesco has long been popular throughout Europe and more recently in North America and elsewhere. It is cultivated in South America, northern Europe and the United States and can be found in major grocery stores and farmer’s markets.
Recipes that include Broccoli Baby Romanesco. One is easiest, three is harder.