Roasted Romanesco – a vegetarian main or a great side dish
This beautiful lime green brassica, also known as Broccoflower, lies somewhere between broccoli and cauliflower in flavour: milder than broccoli, more exciting than cauliflower and a little nutty. The brassica family are a firm favourite at my cleanse events and a regular feature of many of my liver-friendly, health boosting recipes. This is one from a collection of recipes demonstrated during my ‘Nutrition Soirée’ Cooking Workshops. It is perfect as a main for those dabbling in a touch of vegetarian cooking or as a side dish, working well alongside a roast, fish or sausages.
Serves 4 as a main
1 large head Romanesco cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
1 diced red onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
the juice of 1 whole lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 cup of vegetable stock
fresh chopped coriander or parsley
Preheat the oven to 180C degrees. Trim the washed cauliflower leaves and slice the stem off to create a stub so that cauliflower stands upright in a heavy cast-iron pan (with a lid). Place the cauliflower in the pan, and use a sharp knife to carve a deep X into the top of the cauliflower (around 2 inches in depth).
In a measuring jug or small bowl, combine the oil with diced onions, minced garlic, lemon juice, wine, stock, spices, seeds, salt & pepper. Pour evenly over the cauliflower, slightly pulling the X apart so the oily mixture can ooze into the middle. Cover the pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Throughout the cooking time baste the cauliflower a few times in the surrounding liquid. Add more stock if it becomes too dry. After 40 mins or when the cauliflower is fork-tender, remove the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Take out of the oven and serve with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh coriander or parsley.