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Romanesco – Discover A New Ingredient For Your Salads

Romanesco – Discover A New Ingredient For Your Salads
One of the most bizarre vegetables is definitely Romanesco. The first mention of this lettuce appeared already in the 16th century in northern Italy. Its original name, Broccolo Romanesco, is misleading. It bears some similarity to cauliflower, sometimes it is called Roman cauliflower or Romanesco broccoli. Its light green colour does resemble broccoli. As regards its look, however, it is very different and unusual – its pulpous inflorescence has branched meristems of a typical fractal form. All three – broccoli, cauliflower and Romanesco – were cultivated from one and the same plant – wild cabbage. The same applies to other popular stalk vegetables, such as kohlrabi, sauerkraut or kale. Due to its interesting, decorative look and fresh, chartreuse colour, Romanesco is an ideal side that will make your meal stand out. Thanks to firmer consistency, it fits nicely in savoury pudding and au-gratin dishes. Little is known that it is very tasty also in vegetable salads.
100 grams of Romanesco contain the recommended daily dose of vitamin C, which increases immunity and represents suitable prevention from cold. Another beneficial substance is folic acid, which helps in formation of blood cells. It also contains fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, potassium and many other substances. Romanesco is an easy-to-digest vegetable, low in calories, and therefore it is ideal or salads for those on slimming diet. Cold preparation of Romanesco is not too widespread, so we bring you three non-traditional tips and salad recipes using Romanesco, which will enlighten your menu and give your health a boost.

Romanesco and Bean Salad

Divide Romanesco buds in smaller bits and cook in steam to „al dente“ (easy to bite). You will need some 8 to 10 minutes, depending on size of your Romanesco bits. When done, put your veg in a bowl with ice to preserve the fresh green colour. Then prepare your dressing: whisk together vinegar, orange peel, juice, capers, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Then strain and dry white beans, add the cooled Romanesco and finely chopped parsley. Mix in the dressing and serve, for example with white Italian bread.
Serves four:
A handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 can of white beans, strained and dried
2 buds of Romanesco
1 spoon white vinegar and 5 spoons olive oil
2 teaspoons orange peel and 1 spoon orange juice
2 spoons of finely chopped capers
a larger pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper

Gluten-Free Rice Salad with Romanesco

Cut Romanesco in small pieces, bell pepper in cubes and put in a bowl. Add crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and pour in a larger amount of oil. Combine and let marinate for at least an hour. Rinse the rice and bring to boil. Turn down the fire and cook or approximately 30 minutes. When cooked, pour into a larger bowl and let cool down thoroughly. In the rice bowl add chopped tomatoes, marinated vegetables, chopped oregano, add pepper and salt lightly. Combine all well and you are ready to serve.
Serves four
1 smaller Romanesco
200 g three-colour rice (wild rice)
1 smaller yellow bell pepper
handful of cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
½ of lemon
olive oil
sea salt, freshly ground peppercorn
sprinkling of fresh oregano

Marinated Romanesco Salad

Pour water in a heavy-bottom pot and bring to boil. In between, clean your Romanesco and cut out its centre to make its buds disconnect. As soon as the water is boiling, add salt and dip all Romanesco buds in and cook until tender – the tip of your knife goes in easily. Pan-fry a teaspoon of cumin and once the seeds start bursting, put it into a bowl and let cool down.
In a small jar with lid mix honey, oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt at the 1:2:1 ratio, close with lid and mix thoroughly until you create a purée.
Once the Romanesco is al-dente, carefully take it out, it is fragile when cooked, and let it cool down. Then put individual cooled-down Romanesco buds on a plate, pour over with honey-and-lemon purée and sprinkle with fried cumin and chopped parsley.
Serves four
Fresh Romanesco
1 teaspoon cumin
Flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons honey
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
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