I tested Carla Lalli Music’s Pan-Roasted Romanesco with Toasted Nuts (p. 91 in her James Beard Award-winning cookbook Where Cooking Begins ). Romanesco warms my tummy, but I don’t always have Romanesco money, let alone be able to find it at my local grocer. But I got broccoli money and according to Carla, that’s alright.
Where I live, broccoli heads are small in comparison to what you get in the States so I was concerned about getting enough thickness to cut three to four 1.5 inch slabs from the veg. I found that the broccoli crumbled as I cut into it, so I get why the recipe calls for Romanesco. But I managed to get a few intact florets anyway.
Again this was another pantry recipe, so I gathered the ingredients and the recipe was fairly simple to follow. I’m a new fan of hazelnuts. They paired well with the crispy edges of the broccoli. I was proud that it turned out almost just like the photo too.
✰✰✰✰✰ star TRY because it’s versatile & makes a great full meal or a side dish.
Carla Lalli Music’s Pan-roasted Romanesco with toasted nuts
- 1 medium head Romanesco 1½ pounds, stem trimmed
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup skin-on or blanched hazelnuts roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves sliced
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves and tender stems
- Flaky sea salt
- lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Stand Romanesco on its stem and cut it from top to bottom into 1- to l½-inch thick slabs. You should get 3 or 4 intact pieces. Don’t worry about the rounded outer edges that may crumble or any small florets that break away in large pieces, just scoot those to one side of the cutting board along with any nice-looking leaves; you’ll use everything. Cut the loose bits into ½-inch pieces and season them and the Romanesco steaks with salt.
- Heat a 10- or 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil into the skillet and slip Romanesco steaks into pan-you might have to puzzle them together, but make sure they don’t overlap. Work in batches if needed. Cook until Romanesco is dark brown on the underside, about 6 minutes. Turn over and drizzle a bit more oil over the second side and into the empty areas of the pan. Scatter the chopped pieces of Romanesco into the spaces between the steaks and toss gently to lightly coat them with oil (add more if needed).
- Transfer pan to oven and roast until a cake tester inserted into stem slips through without much effort, 15 to 18 minutes. Steaks should be firm enough to still hold together without being crunchy.
- Use a spatula to transfer steaks to a large plate or platter. Return pan with loose piece of Romanesco to medium-high heat. Add butter, hazelnuts, and garlic and cook, stirring, until everything is toasted and crisp around edge , about 4 minutes. Add vinegar and parsley and qt1ickly stir up any browned bits. Spoon this mixture over the steaks, season with flaky salt, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
- Cauliflower or broccoli for Romanesco
- Cilantro or mint instead of parsley
- Almonds or cashews for hazelnuts
- Unseasoned rice vinegar or cider vinegar for the wine vinegar
- Lime instead of lemon