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The 4 Best Ways to Cook Romanesco! If you don’t know how to cook Romanesco broccoli or haven’t eaten it, don’t worry. This vegetable cooks up in minutes for a healthy side dish! I’ll share with you simple and healthy Romanesco recipes including roasting, sautéing, boiling, and microwaving.

A head of fresh romanesco broccoli

One of my all-time favorite vegetables has got to be Romanesco with its delicate texture and nutty flavor. It’s easy to prepare and requires far less cooking time than broccoli or cauliflower.

If you’re a fan of roasted broccoli, then you’ll love roasted Romanesco. It’s tender in the middle with irresistibly crispy edges and tips, even better than broccoli!

Tired of cauliflower rice? Try Romanesco rice. It’s just as tasty if not better!

Boiled Romanesco is cleansing, healthy, and the best cure for over-indulgence I know.

Microwaving Romanesco is the easiest way to cook this versatile vegetable!

Cutting into florets before cooking

What’s So Great about Romanesco?

This is one of my favorite vegetables and I don’t understand why it hasn’t gotten its moment of trendiness and hype in the food world.

Also called Romanesco broccoli or Romanesco cauliflower, it’s an edible flower bud of the Brassica oleracea species, with the name reflecting its origins in the Lazio region around Rome.

This unique vegetable has a mild flavor and florets resembling miniature Christmas trees. It looks and tastes like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower!

This nutritious vegetable is rich in vitamins A and C plus important minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. It’s also a very good source of dietary fiber.

So let’s get to it!

How to Cook Romanesco

You can prepare it using the oven, stovetop or microwave. Simply pick a convenient cooking method that will give you the taste experience you’re going for!

Roasted Romanesco

Roasted romanesco florets with beautiful charred edges

This is my favorite way of cooking Romanesco and who doesn’t love roasted vegetables? The edges caramelize in the oven to produce crispy crowns, turning them into amazing veggie nuggets. Plus, it’s a healthy side dish with major crowd appeal!

Simply cut the head into bite-sized pieces and toss them in oil and salt. Then place them on a baking sheet, and throw them in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips: Don’t overcrowd the pan, as Romanesco needs some breathing room on the pan so that the edges can turn crisp in the oven. Use a large, rimmed baking sheet if possible.

What to pair with roasted Romanesco:

Romanesco Rice

Preparing romanesco rice by grating, sauteing and service

You’ve probably heard of cauliflower rice, which is a grain-free, low-carb alternative to rice. Romanesco rice is a similar recipe with a more attractive presentation and richer flavor.

Simply use a grater to grate it into “rice”. You can also use a food processor to blend into small pieces. Then sauté in a large skillet over medium heat with oil for 5-6 minutes until tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

What to pair with Romanesco rice:

Boiled Romanesco

Boiled vegetables being lifted out of a pot using a skimmer

Adding the Romanesco pieces to boiling water for just a few minutes (blanching) instantly changes the color and texture of this vegetable. It works wonders when you simply need to take out that raw chew. It’s perfect for making salad, meal planning, or preparing a side dish in advance.

Tips: Boiling for too long can make the vegetable too soggy. If you plan to use your Romanesco in salads or casserole, it’s better to boil it briefly for about 2-3 minutes (blanching).

What to pair with Boiled Romanesco:

Microwaved Romanesco

A colorful serving of boiled romanesco

Cooking Romanesco in a microwave is faster and easier than other methods. It’s bursting with flavor with a bright color.

Simply add the cut pieces into a microwave-safe bowl, and then add water. Cover with a lid or plate, microwave on high for 2 minutes. Test for doneness and repeat at 30-second intervals until it’s tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

What to pair with microwaved Romanesco:

Romanesco is a delicious vegetable that's a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It's so easy to prepare by boiling, roasting, ricing or steaming! #romanesco

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Romanesco taste like? Compared to regular cauliflower, Romanesco has a firmer texture with a mild, nutty flavor.

How to prepare Romanesco? To prepare Romanesco, clean the head thoroughly, and then cut the crown into small florets. Then cook it by roasting, boiling, sautéing, or microwaving.

Tip: To pick the best Romanesco, look for a head that’s firm with a vibrant green color. When there are still leaves attached, it’s a sign of freshness.

What’s the difference between Romanesco, broccoli and cauliflower? Romanesco is sometimes labelled green cauliflower and considered a hybrid of cauliflower and broccoli, even though it’s botanically distinct. Broccoli is the least dense of the three and has a milder and sweeter taste. Cauliflower tends to be smoother with a more neutral flavor profile, while Romanesco is nuttier. It’s an excellent substitute for the other two vegetables.

More vegetable recipes:

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The 4 Best Ways to Cook Romanesco

The 4 Best Ways to Cook Romanesco! If you don’t know how to cook Romanesco broccoli or haven’t eaten them, don’t worry. I’ll share with you 4 simple and healthy Romanesco recipes: roasting, sautéing, boiling, and microwaving. This vegetable cooks up in minutes, for a healthy side dish!
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients 

Roasted Romanesco

  • ½ large head Romanesco, cut into bite-sized pieces (about ½ pound)
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Romanesco Rice

  • 1/2 large head Romanesco
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Boiled Romanesco

  • 1/2 large head Romanesco
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • lemon, optional

Microwaved Romanesco

  • 1/2 large head Romanesco
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions 

Roasted Romanesco

  • Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Line a large baking sheet, if desired.
  • Clean the Romanesco and cut into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with oil, salt and pepper until all the pieces are evenly coated.
  • Arrange them evenly across the baking.
  • Bake about 15 minutes, tossing halfway, or until the florets are turning golden on the edges. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary, and serve warm.

Romanesco Rice

  • Rice the Romanesco pieces using either a grater, food processor or blender.
  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add oil and cauliflower rice.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes until tender.

Boiled Romanesco

  • Fill in a large saucepan with water, bring to boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt.
  • Add Romanesco florets and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain your cooked Romanesco with a colander. Submerge it in a bowl of cold water.
  • Transfer them to a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with optional lemon wedges and enjoy!

Microwaved Romanesco

  • Add Romanesco pieces into a microwave-safe bowl, and then add water.
  • Cover with a microwave-safe lid or a ceramic plate that can cover the bowl completely.
  • Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.
  • Test for doneness and repeat at 30-second intervals until the broccoli is tender.
  • Transfer the Romanesco to a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • To Store Uncooked Romanesco: Store the unwashed vegetable in a zip-top bag in the fridge. It’ll last for up to 1 week, but it’s best to cook it within 24 hours of purchasing. 
  • Don’t Overcook It: Romanesco takes less time to cook than broccoli or cauliflower, and it’ll turn mushy if you overcook it.
Nutrition Facts
The 4 Best Ways to Cook Romanesco
Amount Per Serving
Calories 31 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 1mg0%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Please read our nutrition disclaimer.

Author: Cindy
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Romanesco, Romanesco Broccoli, Romanesco Cauliflower
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below!