Whole Roasted Romanesco

I’m in love with romanesco! This beautiful vegetable, which almost looks like green cauliflower but tastes like a mild broccoli is not a blend of those vegetables. The romanesco has been grown in Italy since the 16th century. Bright green in color, the head forms a striking fractal pattern at first glance. While it resembles a cauliflower, its flavor is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty, and it’s texture as a vegetable is far more crunchy.

What drew me to romanesco at first was just how pretty it is. I love food presentation, and it’s been shown in studies that that taking the time to make your food LOOK good can actually make it TASTE better.

From the moment I saw it all I wanted to do was roast it whole. I bought two smaller romanesco heads so they’d be single serving, but the recipe is for one serving. I did mine in my Instant Pot, but I’ve included oven instructions as well.

Ingredients:
– 1 head Romanesco
– 3 tbsp Olive Oil
– 1/2 tbsp course ground pepper
– 1 tsp course ground sea salt
– T1 tbsp minced garlic
– 1 tsp Onion Salt
– 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
-1 cup Chicken Stock.

Instructions:
1. Wash romanesco well.
2. Place in the instant pot on the trivet rack. I left the stem and leaves on, just trimming the bottom so it would sit flat. The leaves help hold it upright. (They are edible if you’d like to try them!)
3. Drizzle chicken stock over the romanesco slowly, so the broth can slip down in between the buds, or florets.
4. In a bowl mix the remainder of the ingredients. Drizzle this over the romanesco very slowly. I like to carefully pry the florettes apart so I can get as much oil inside as possible.
5. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, and let it naturally release pressure for 5-10 minutes depending on how tender you’d like it to be.
6. Toggle the Pressure Release/Quick Release valve to “venting” to quickly release any remaining pressure.
7. Lift trivet and remove leaves and stalk. If you are serving it as the main dish, place it in a bowl and sprinkle it lightly with salt and pepper.

OVEN Directions: Prepare as above, but place romanesco in a snug oven safe dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

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