Monday, November 18, 2013

Romanesco and Northwest Berry Vinegar

This is just a short post today since I've got lots of writing and now holiday plans are creeping up. When things get busy, I blanch vegetables on the weekend and I pack them for snacks and make easy side and main dishes with them all week.  Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and of course Romanesco make excellent candidates for blanching. 

Romanesco is a beautiful cruciferous chartreuse vegetable with a spiral of turrets that look like spiky light green cauliflower. When cooked, it has the texture of cauliflower with a similar taste, but white cauliflower is more bland tasting than Romanesco. Romanesco is also called Romanesco broccoli or Romanesca cauliflower. 

It can be a little pricy--$4.00 a pound this past weekend at Willie Green's, but even reformed foodie need to splurge once in awhile. It would also definitely be a great additon to a holiday meal.

Romanesco starts out like cauliflower with big leaves growing around it.

I took this picture at the U-District Market a few years ago.  Look close and check the price.  It's interesting how the price jumps from year to year.  Eventually I get priced out of the market but if you can find Romanesco for less than $4 a pound, that's a good deal these days.

This recipe, Romanesco and Northwest Berry Vinegar, came from my book, but as usual I changed it up, added some orange marmalade and carrots. 

My Cooking Assistant insists that carrots are always in our kitchen, so I add carrots to just about everything. They have lots of vitamin A and they add color and a bit of sweet tones to any dish.

Vinegar can remove color, and though this dish is good hot or cold, add the dressing close to when you serve it, so the colors are vibrant.

I hope you enjoy the recipe this week!

Romanesco and Carrots with Northwest Berry Vinegar
(Serves 4)

1 head Romanesco, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 cup sliced carrots
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon orange marmalade 
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon chopped Mama Lil's (optional)
Smoked sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch Romanesco and carrots for a 3 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender. Rinse with cold water.

Combine raspberry vinegar, marmalade, olive oil and garlic together.  Blend in Mama Lil's peppers and add a pinch of smoked sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

This last shot is an "out take."  My lovely Cooking Assistant got carried away and at some of the big chunks before I whiked the plate away.  So good even a basset hound will steal it.  It's a good thing I only had one helping on this plate!


Joan said...

What a beautiful vegetable! I've never tried it but will look for it. Thanks for the inspiration!

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Hi Joan, thanks for stopping by. This is a great vegetable, the flavor is subtle and the texture more buttery when cooked compared to cauliflower. It's a fun splurge, and is not the same as green cauliflower that you sometimes see in stores.

Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
This looks like a fabulous fresh dish that we would really enjoy. I know what you mean about running out of time. Hugs to you and Finn!
Thanks so much for sharing your great recipe with Full Plate Thursday and enjoy your Thanksgiving week!
Come Back Soon
Miz Helen

Joan said...

I found Romanesco at Met Market this weekend and had to buy it as I remembered you wrote on it. I had to find your post again to remember how you prepared it. I'll have it for dinner tonite! Thanks for introducing me to something new.

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

I just got a recipe where someone roasted cauliflower. Why not Romanesco? I think I'll try that next!