Wednesday, January 17, 2024 2:54 PM

Produces own Christmas trees

What are these strange little trees?  Romanesco broccoli, aka broccoflower or Roman cauliflower, is botanically a member of the cauliflower family.  It has a flavor that is milder and nuttier but yet similar to both broccoli and cauliflower. It dates back to 16th-century Italy and is grown as a cool weather crop.  Fun fact: the florets are near perfect fractals.  The number of spirals on the head are a Fibonacci number.  Cool, huh?

Romanesco can be eaten raw or cooked.  When you cook it, keep in mind that it cooks more quickly than cauliflower.  It makes a really cool looking tree on a raw crudite platter.  You can use pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries and parmesan cheese as “ornaments” and “snow”.  You can steam or roast it.  I’ve even found a recipe for pickling it that I’m excited to try out.  If you know me you know I LOVE pickles.  All parts of the plant are edible.  The leaves look similar to collards.  Store it in your vegetable crisper or freeze it to cook later.  Look for this unusual produce item late fall through most of the winter months.  

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