Romanesco with Romesco
Confusing? One thing that Romesco and Romanesco have in common is that both are from the Mediterranean. Romesco is a Spanish sauce and Romanesco is an Italian 16th-century heirloom type of cauliflower in the cruciferous family that includes cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Romanesco is a strikingly beautiful chartreuse green edible flower bud with spiral florets, each smaller than the spine on which it grows. It is a winter vegetable in the Pacific Northwest that has a pleasing, mild, and nutty flavor. It pairs well when served with Romesco sauce, which is ground-nut thickened, slightly chunky tomato, sweet pepper, chile, smoky paprika, olive oil and sherry vinegar sauce.
This combination of vegetable and sauce is both vegan and vegetarian. Romanesco has a high level of vitamin C and carotenoids that act as antioxidants which boosts the immune system and promotes healthy skin. It also has vitamins A, B, and K along with manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and fiber. To top it all off it has heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. What’s not to like about this vegetable? The sauce is a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins and minerals which is low in carbohydrates, and high in good fats (from nuts, and extra virgin olive oil). The pairing of these two is not only nutritious, and tasty but colorfully attractive. What’s not to love?
4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons blanched almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons blanched hazelnuts, toasted
1 (9.9 ounces) can roasted piquillo peppers, drained, pat dry
1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes, drained
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons ground guajillo chile
1 teaspoon garlic, mashed
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon pimentón dulce (smoked paprika)
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1. Pulse the almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor until crumb-like but not as much to make them butter-like. Move to a mixing bowl.
2. Pulse the peppers and tomatoes until slightly chunky but smooth. Add to the nuts.
3. Add the olive oil, ground guajillo, garlic, vinegar, pimentón, salt, and pepper to the nut, pepper, and tomato mixture. Mix well. The sauce will have a rough texture. Taste, Think, Transform with salt and/or vinegar.
4 to 6 servings
1 large head Romanesco, divided into florets
1. Steam or boil the Romanesco for a few minutes until tender.
2. Serve hot with Romesco sauce.