Romanesco looks like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, but tastes more like cauliflower (and is actually a member of the cauliflower family). While its appearance is something of a spectacle – perhaps a forest in a sci-fi story, or an imagined underwater city created by a child out of wet sand at the beach – its flavor is mild and rather delicate.
I picked one up at the farmers’ market in December and instead of breaking it up into florets, I decided to leave it whole. I steamed it until tender, before transferring it to a bowl. While it was still warm, I added lots of chopped red onion and dressed the entire thing with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil and cider vinegar. I let it sit for a while to absorb the flavors of the vinaigrette while it cooled.
I love anything that’s been treated with vinaigrette – the pickle-like flavor is irresistible to me and it works fantastically well with almost any green vegetable. This tastes best when served at room temperature (cold from the refrigerator will mask the nuances of the flavors, let it sit out on a counter for at least 15-20 minutes before serving).