Steamed Romanesco with Béchamel Sauce – ‘alien’ broccoli
Romanesco broccoli is kind of new to South Africa. I purchased my first head about two years ago and just bought my second one recently, after not seeing it around for a while. I must admit this vegetable got a laugh from several people and was labeled an alien vegetable – therefore my subject line.
What is Romanesco? It is a vegetable and seems to be of Italian heritage. It belongs to the broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprout and cauliflower family. It tastes like cauliflower/broccoli.
How to use Romanesco? Use and handle it just like you would do with broccoli and cabbage. It is that easy.
I decided that I love the look of this vegetable and wanted to keep it as a whole head if possible. So I steamed the head in a steamer basket and a large pot. Then I poured Béchamel Sauce over it and garnished it with fresh parsley. It looked really funky and was wonderfully tasty to my husband’s surprise.
– 1 head Romanesco
– water to steam
– Béchamel sauce, see recipe HERE
– salt and pepper
– fresh chopped parsley to garnish
1. Steam the Romanesco until soft, but firm. I used a steamer basket (which I got from Woolworths and love as it fits into a pot and does not scratch it) and a large pot. Filled the bottom of the pot with water, placed the Romanesco in the steamer basket, covered with a lid and heated over high heat. I checked every few minutes to make sure there is enough water left for the steaming and poked the Romanesco with a sharp knife until it entered easily enough and was cooked through.
2. While the Romanesco got steamed I prepared a Béchamel/white sauce, you can find the recipe here.
3. Once the Romanesco is cooked lift it out of the steamer basket, make sure the stem is cut level so that you can place it in a plate (I used a plate with higher edges, almost like a bowl) and that it can stand up straight. I wanted to create all the drama that I could with this funky shaped vegetable.
4. Pour the béchamel sauce over the Romanesco head.
5. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add fresh chopped parsley leaves as garnish.
To serve everyone can cut their part out of the head, it is soft enough to not be a problem.
Apparently the Romanesco is very high in Vitamin C, K, fiber and carotenoids. One healthy veggie to add to your menu.