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How to prepare and cook Romanesco- broccoli's Italian cousin.

Roasted Romanesco

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: Baked, roasted
  • Cuisine: italian
  • Diet: Vegan


Roasted Romanesco!  Romanesco is a stunning chartreuse-spired cruciferous hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower. Roast it with shallots, garlic & lemon- a simple recipe that takes 15 mins of hands-on time! 


Units Scale
  • 1 head Romanesco- choose one that has similar-sized spires for most even cooking.
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 46 fat garlic cloves, each sliced into 45 slices lengthwise.
  • 2 Shallots- cut into 1/2 inch wedges.
  • 12 tablespoons lemon zest- from one small lemon (optional, leave out if adding Asian flavors)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, more to taste (Aleppo or Urfa Biber is nice here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
  • optional- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Italia Salsa Verde (Optional- or see other sauces in post) 

  • 1 cup Italian parsley (packed, tender stems ok) feel free to sub part basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon caper “juice” from the jar
  • 12 anchovies (optional)
  • 1/31/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Prep Romanesco: Remove the leaves and stems off the Romanesco, and trim off any discolored ends. Slice the leaves in half lengthwise to create strips. Cut the stem in half, then in 1/4-1/2 inch thick strips. Carefully, starting from the bottom of the bud, pull off the spires with your fingers, keeping them intact.
  3. Season: Place all in a big bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, add the sliced garlic, shallots, zest, salt, pepper and chili flakes and toass to coat well.
  4. Bake: Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan, not overlapping.  Bake for 15 minutes, stir in parmesan if using, and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until tender-crisp, yet still vibrant in color. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and chili flakes- I usually add more of all. 
  5. While it is roasting, make your choice of sauce. 
  6. To make Salsa Verde: Place everything in a food processor and pulse until uniformly chopped and combined. Add more olive oil to loosen it if you like.  (You can also finely mince everything by hand and stir in a small bowl.) 
  7. To serve, place a few tablespoons of Salsa Verde on a large plate or platter, place the roasted romanesco over the top, with tips pointing up and out-along with all the toasty bits. Then add a few more spoonfuls Salsa Verde over and around. For color and heat, Calabrian chilies are a nice and punchy. 


Leftovers will keep up to 3 days in the fridge- feel free to reheat- in a sauce pan, in the oven or microwave. 


  • Serving Size: ¾ cup - without sauce or parmesan
  • Calories: 81
  • Sugar: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 308.2 mg
  • Fat: 5.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
  • Fiber: 2.2 g
  • Protein: 2.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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