I was strolling by the tables at the farmer’s market one Sunday and this funky looking vegetable caught my eye. It looked like an alien food from outer space. So of course, I asked the sweet old man selling them WHAT this bright lime green thing was. He said it was in fact NOT from outer space, but originated in Italy and grows locally in a lot of places in the U.S. too, depending on the season.
It is called Romanesco, (love the name of it), and it’s high in potassium, has protein, great sources of vitamin A and C. Awesome, I bought it right away 🙂
What can you do with it?
You can eat it raw, (I think it looks so unique and pretty on a vegetable tray with dip), or cook it like I did the other night.
It tastes like a sweet mix between cauliflower and broccoli which is mild and easier to pair than cauliflower and the texture is really delicious, not as strong on the palette as cauliflower can be as well.
I decided to keep it’s Italian roots, but stay healthy, and make it in a quinoa pasta. I kind of threw things together instead of going the recipe route, just to use what I had in the house.
I sautéed some other veggies and the chopped romanesco with garlic and then tossed quinoa pasta with a few things. I added in some yummy vegan raw pesto I had in the fridge, (you can also use Chai Momma Shraddha’s pesto recipe-which is not vegan but still delicious), and voila, it was delicious! It was so easy, tasty and definitely looked really cool.
Check out the recipe below and let me know how you like trying this unique vegetable that can be fun to eat with kids, just use their imagination!
- 1 box Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta (rotelle or garden pagodas)
- ½ head romanesco, chopped in florets
- ½ onion, diced
- ½ green pepper, diced
- ½ zucchini, sliced and halved
- 2-3 tbsp. small porotobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 cup pesto sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tbsp. grape seed oil
- (parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for for optional topping)
- Boil pasta according to instructions. Drain pasta and set aside, (covered to keep warm-add a few drops olive oil to the drained pasta if you are afraid it will stick).
- In a medium saucepan, add grape seed oil and garlic, then add onions, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini and romanesco. Mix together and add basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Sautee for a few minutes, until onion is translucent.
- In a mixing bowl, mix vegetable mixture into pasta.
- Add pesto and mix in.
- Add in tomatoes.
- Serve immediately and add parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast as a topping for a cheesy flavor.