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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.

Deborah Madison
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Credit: Aya Brackett; Styling: Amy Wilson

Recipe Summary

50 mins
Serves 6 to 8 (3/4 cup sauce)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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).

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

Nutrition Facts

143 calories; calories from fat 85%; protein 1.8g; fat 14g; saturated fat 2g; carbohydrates 4.8g; fiber 1.7g; sodium 84mg.