You don’t see romanesco around much, although those in the know, are seeking out this alien looking vegetable more and more. Its bright green appearance always catches my eye when I see it at the markets, and I pounce quickly, scooping up as much as I think we can physically eat. I love its flavour: nuttier and earthier than cauliflower, with a little spice. Use it as you would cauliflower or broccoli (it’s part of the same family), but don’t purée it for soup, its too pretty for that; when you break it apart into small florets, they resemble little green trees.
I’m lucky that at the moment, my supplier Moonacres Farm has an abundant supply of romanesco. Everything they grow is organic, the quality is fantastic, and beautifully fresh. So how I’m going to cook it is by roasting it with a little spice. And a huge bonus is that this dish is better served warm, or at room temperature, so none of that last minute panic in the kitchen – we don’t need that.
- Spiced Romanesco with Currants and Greek Yoghurt
- Serves 3-4
- 700g romanesco, cut into florets
- 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1tbsp combined fennel, coriander and cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
- 1/2tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2tsp Maldon sea salt flakes
- ¼ cup currants, soaked in hot water for a few minutes, drained, and patted dry
- Small handful of mint, coarsely chopped
- Small handful parsley, coarsely chopped
- Greek yoghurt
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Lemon wedges
- Spice mix
- 1tbsp fennel seeds
- 1tbsp coriander seeds
- 1tbsp cumin seeds
(Store leftover spice mix in an airtight jar, in the fridge)
Firstly, preheat your oven to 180C, and prepare your spices. Heat a small fry pan over a low heat, and gently toast spices until fragrant and lightly coloured. Do not let them burn! Remove from heat, and whilst warm crush in a mortar and pestle, leaving some texture. Set aside.
In a large bowl toss romanesco with 3tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp of the spice mix, chilli flakes and Maldon sea salt. Transfer to a baking dish lined with baking paper, place in preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes. Turn romanesco over, and roast another 10 minutes. Take out of oven, let stand for 5 minutes, and then gently toss with currants, mint and parsley. Turn out onto a flat serving dish, drizzle with Greek yoghurt and a little extra virgin olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!