All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
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Every two weeks, I get a box of mixed veggies from Farm Fresh To You. I enjoy it because they are locally grown but also because they send me things I have never used before – like this Romanesco Cauliflower (or Romanesco broccoli). It is striking to look at & almost looks other-worldly. It has the texture of cauliflower but is described as tasting slightly nutty & earthy. I found the flavor to be very mild – much like cauliflower – so you can use it any way you would use cauliflower. I chose this light pasta dish. I used real cheese in it but that is not necessary. You can omit it with little loss to overall flavor or use a bit of nutritional yeast or vegan hard cheese – grated.
Pasta with Romanesco Cauliflower (Broccoli), Lemon & Chili Flakes (Vegetarian or Vegan)
1-2 heads of Romanesco cauliflower – cut into florets (or one bunch broccoli or head of cauliflower – cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 lemon (zest & juice)
Crushed red pepper to taste (I used a lot – like – 2 TBS – but use it at your own discretion)
1-4 garlic cloves – chopped
1/2 lb pasta (cooked)
Cheese (grated Parmesan or other hard cheese or vegan alternative or a TBS or so of nutritional yeast) – quantity totally up to you
Cook pasta according to directions, drain & set aside.
Meanwhile – boil the Romanesco florets for about 3 minutes. Scoop out about 1 cup of the hot veggie water & set aside. Drain & plunge the Romanesco into cold water to stop it from cooking too much.
Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the crushed red pepper, garlic & lemon zest. Cook for about a minute & then add the Romanesco. Heat through.
Add some cheese & some of the hot veggie water. Stir to combine. Season with S&P. Add more cheese if you like.
Add the pasta & some of the lemon juice. Stir to combine & then adjust seasonings – maybe adding more cheese (or nutritional yeast) or S&P or lemon or crushed red pepper.
Serve! Add more cheese if you desire.