Winter Romanesco

by Lyle Railsback

If Timothy Leary and MC Escher had collaborated on a vegetable, it might have been the eye-popping Romanesco, whose fractal chartreuse spikes look more like a supporting actor in My Octopus Teacher than something grown in a garden. That said, we just found the most beautiful example from the Good Find Farm, whose rocky soils in Damascus, Pennsylvania are farmed organically and with the use of cover crops like buckwheat to replenish nutrients and support healthy soil. 

Coming from the same family as broccoli and cauliflower, Romanesco is high in fiber and chock full of vitamin C, vitamin K, and carotenoids, making it a perfect addition to your winter detox. It’s also super delicious, preferably roasted in a hot oven to char the edges, but still “to the tooth” inside for maximum bioavailability. Many chefs recommend roasting it whole, leaving more moisture, and I like to finish it “Roman-style,” doused with olive oil, lemon (zest and juice), more garlic than recommended, and anchovy bread crumbs. 

What to drink with it:  Visiting the Eternal City you might be coerced into a chilled glass of Lazio’s “Est! Est!! Est!!!,” but anywhere else (or if you just don’t like this many exclamation points in your wine) a salty Vermentino (or Vermentinu in either Corsica or at our winery) has the perfect amount of saltiness and slight bitterness to compliment the nutty brassica taste combined with anchovies and garlic. 

Exitus Acta Probat – ‘The result justifies the deed.’