Monday, March 6, 2017

Broccoli Romanesco or Cauliflower steaks with salsa verde

Broccoli romano, also known as broccoli romanesco, is probably my favorite vegetable (although artichokes are a close second). It's not easy to find it here in the states, but occasionally I see it at farmers' markets or even in my supermarket. When that happens, I don't hesitate to buy it, even though it's a bit pricey.
Aside from the taste, which is more like cauliflower than broccoli, it's just a beautiful vegetable that is an exquisite example of fractals (go look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls - [if it still exists] - I guess I should say look that up in Wikipedia!)
In any event, even if you can't find broccoli romano, you can make this recipe using cauliflower, which is easy to find in the markets. 

 First cut off the leaves and trim the stem, then slice into pieces about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick.

Smear with some good olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place it in the oven at high heat while you chop up herbs and other goodies for the salsa verde.
Flip the "steaks" over half way through cooking. If it's getting too browned, lower the temperature.
Place on a platter then spoon the sauce over it.
Served with some quinoa and glazed carrots, it made for a colorful and delicious vegetarian dinner. For once, I didn't miss the real meat.

Broccoli Romano "steaks" with salsa verde

1 head of broccoli romano (romanesco)

1/4 cup olive oil (plus more to brush on surface of broccoli romano)

juice of 1/2 lemon (or more if your lemon is small), plus a small piece of the lemon rind

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 T. red onion, minced

2 T. capers

fresh parsley, minced (about 3 or 4 T.)

salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice the broccoli romano - or cauliflower if you can't find the broccoli romano - into pieces between 1/4" and 1/2 " thick. Smear them with olive oil, then sprinkle on some salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place them in the oven for about 15 minutes - flipping over once (and repeating the olive oil, salt and pepper).Take them out of the oven when they feel tender to the fork, or when you can easily pierce them with a knife. Depending on how thick you sliced them, they'll need more time (or maybe less if they're thinner than mine).

While they are cooking, make the salsa, by mincing the lemon rind, garlic, onion, capers and parsley. Add the olive oil, plus the lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper and stir everything together. Spoon the salsa verde over the broccoli romano or cauliflower steaks.

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