Although vibrant, lime-green Romanesco (sometimes called broccoli Romanesco or Romanesco cauliflower) looks like the love child of cauliflower and broccoli, it is closer to cauliflower in terms of taste and how it is used. Its color is fantastic in this lively salad, though you can definitely use white cauliflower if that’s all you can find. Cook the Romanesco just long enough to take away the raw bite, 2–3 minutes tops. Normally I would suggest plunging the florets into ice water to halt the cooking immediately, but introducing extra water here will mute the flavor and dilute the dressing. This salad keeps well for several hours, so it’s great for a potluck.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables by Laura B. Russell (Ten Speed Press, 2014). Photo credit: Sang An.
- 1 cup water
- 1 medium Romanesco or regular cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-size florets about 5 cups
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill about 2/3 ounce
- 3 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers, coarsely chopped
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat. (If you have a steamer insert, put it in the pot to hold the Romanesco. If you don’t have one, don’t worry about it.) Add Romanesco, cover, reduce heat to medium, and steam for 2–3 minutes, until crisp-tender (add more water if needed). Using a slotted spoon, transfer Romanesco to a rimmed baking sheet or clean kitchen towel, spreading it in a single layer, to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Slowly add oil, whisking constantly to emulsify.
- Put Romanesco in a serving bowl. Add bell pepper, onion, dill, capers, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and vinaigrette; toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. It will keep well for several hours. Just before serving, taste and add more salt if needed.
PER SERVING: 147 cal, 10g fat (5g mono, 4g poly, 1g sat), 0mg chol, 4g protein, 12g carb, 5g fiber, 733mg sodium