Romanesco Holiday

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This looks rather dangerous. I won't be doing this anytime soon! Source: Wikipedia Commons/ Roman Holiday trailer

This looks rather dangerous. I won’t be doing this anytime soon! Source: Wikipedia Commons/ Roman Holiday trailer

So my life isn’t exactly like Princess Ann’s in Roman Holiday at the present moment but I’m coping in style.  Let’s just say it’s very nice not having such a highly scheduled life and I can breathe easier knowing I won’t have 17 consecutive email demands prior to 9:00 AM. Oh yes, I started calculating the crazy.  Thankfully, I have not needed any sort of sedative that would cause me to fall asleep on a bench.  However, should that necessity arise, I have an ample supply of wine, gin, and St. Germain at my disposal.

Enough of that noise.  I’m hungry.  Can we talk about another “surprise vegetable,” Romanesco?  I’d noticed it before in the Wegmans produce section, adjacent to the broccoli and cauliflower, resembling some kind of sci-fi fan’s delight.  I never bothered with it since I enjoy both cauliflower and broccoli and from what I recall, it was generally more expensive than the other two.

While picking up my share last week, there sat Mr. Romanesco, wedged between the broccoli and Swiss chard.  I heard a woman asking loudly, “What is this? It looks like some kind of alien thing! What do you do with it?”  I stifled my laugh and resisted the urge to mention Eric Cartman’s anal probe from South Park.  The folks at Good Food Collective love to talk about what you can do with your vegetables. All you have to do is admit your ignorance and in the course of schlepping through the assembly line of produce bins, you’ll probably walk away with 3-5 new recipe ideas.  Since I was already familiar with Romanesco and its relation to cauliflower, I knew what I was going to do with it.  I was concerned about my ingredient stockpile since I forgot to stop at my beloved local Williams-Sonoma on Sunday.  This was probably for the best, considering the current state of the union.

Meet Romanesco, your new 'out of this world' vegetable!

Meet Romanesco, your new ‘out of this world’ vegetable!

This morning I awoke to a glorious email informing me I had free shipping on all Williams-Sonoma orders, with no minimum purchase. That’s right! Free shipping code is FREESHIP and you can order whatever you want and enter the code upon checkout until 11:59 PM Pacific Time, all from the comfort of your home while sitting on your ass perusing employment opportunities.  I was running low on their Madras Curry and Garam Masala.  I’m 99% certain my Indian friends are swearing at their screen and muttering about to going to the Indian market as they are reading this, but we all know I’m a bit particular in the kitchen. I should also note that I don’t work for Williams-Sonoma or receive any kind of kickback. I just really like their stuff and use these particular spice blends frequently so I like to spread the word.

Now let’s make this happen, people: delicious roasted curried Romanesco and as a side bonus, we’ll smell up the hallway for the neighbors.  One of mine has a toddler who shrieks like a psych ward patient on the regular, so this recipe is totally a win-win!

Lady Sensory’s “Karma’s a Bitch” Curried Romanesco

Serves 2-3 people as a side dish or one hungry person on an unplanned “staycation.”

3-4 cups Romanesco, (approximately 1 head, chopped into florets)

1 small onion, quartered and separated into pieces

1 tsp Madras Curry (WS)

1 tsp Hungarian paprika

1/4 tsp Garam Masala (WS)

1/4 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste, but I recommend being generous

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar or balsamic (I use a mix of both depending on what I have available)

1/3 cup olive oil

The color of the spices are close to brown. Look for those yummy dark brown roasted bits to make sure it's done!

The color of the spices are close to brown. Look for those yummy dark brown roasted bits to make sure it’s done!

Prepare a baking dish or small roasting pan (9″ x 13″ is perfect) by lining with foil. Place rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large bowl, combine the dried ingredients, then whisk together with the vinegar and slowly drizzle in the olive oil (like a vinaigrette). Place the Romanesco florets in the pan and distribute the onion pieces evenly among the florets. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables, stir to distribute, and spread into one layer in the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through.  Bake until golden and tender and serve. You can refrigerate any leftovers – this one is still good the next day!

Now kick back with your curried bites of deliciousness and some classic movies. Have the good sense to know that although you’re not currently cruising around Rome on a Vespa or meandering through the spice market in Delhi, rest assured, you’ll eventually get there.

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