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Broccoli Romanesco with Green Herb Sauce

Serves 6 to 8 (3/4 cup sauce)

Total Time
50 mins

Whorled broccoli romanesco is an exotic treat, yet it's very easy to prepare--just steam until tender. If you can't find small heads, just break a full-grown head into florets (cauliflower works too). This recipe is adapted from one in Vegetable Literacy (Ten Speed Press, 2013), by Deborah Madison.

su-Broccoli Romanesco with Green Herb Sauce

Photo: Aya Brackett; Styling: Amy Wilson


 6 to 8 baby heads broccoli romanesco*; or 1 full-size head or 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  Zest of 1 large lemon
 2 tablespoons lemon juice
 2 tablespoons brined capers, rinsed and chopped
 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot (about 1 medium)
 1 small garlic clove, minced
 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  Sea salt and pepper
Step 1

Peel only toughest outer leaves from broccoli romanesco, leaving tender inner ones attached. Steam broccoli in a steamer basket over simmering water, covered, until tender to the core when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Put in a serving dish.

Step 2

Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3

Spoon about half the green herb sauce over broccoli and turn gently to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature, with extra sauce on the side.

Step 4

*Find at farmers' markets in fall and winter, and increasingly at well-stocked grocery stores.

Step 5

Make ahead: Sauce, up to 1 day, chilled (add lemon juice at the last minute, or it will dull the sauce's color). Broccoli romanesco may be steamed a few hours ahead; let sit, loosely covered, at room temp (if chilled overnight in a container, it gets sulfurous).

Step 6

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving with 1 Tbsp. extra sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Serves 6 to 8 (3/4 cup sauce)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 143Calories from Fat 85
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g22%

Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 0.0mg0%
Sodium 84mg4%
Total Carbohydrate 4.8g2%

Dietary Fiber 1.7g7%
Protein 1.8g4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.