If broccoli, cauliflower, and Romanesco were siblings, Romanesco clearly would be the free-spirited and vibrant middle child. When compared to cauliflower, Romanesco has a delicate nutty flavor and is crunchier. Since they are all in the same family, you can prepare Romanesco as you would broccoli or cauliflower; however, to preserve its nutty, crunchy crazy personality do not over-cook.
Begin by removing the base. Now starting at the top, slice the whole head in half – tip to base. Place the halves flat on the cutting board, and cut through the middle of each. Stand each quarter upright. At an angle, cut between the florets and the inner stalk. Most of the florets will naturally break off and you can cut any remaining florets to match their size.
Best for retaining the color. This method is idea for for salads, vegetable trays, and pasta. Place your florets in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and then quickly submerge the pieces in an ice bath. Remove from the ice bath and dry using paper towels. The ice bath locks in the color.
Best for enhancing its sweetness and nutty flavor. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the florets with a tablespoon of oil (ProTip: drop the florets in a plastic bag with the oil and shake. This spreads the oil more evenly). Distribute the florets cut-side down into an even layer, making sure that the florets aren’t touching one another if possible. Roast at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing halfway, or until caramelized and tender. Don’t be afraid to get a bit of char on the florets.