Roasted romanesco is a simple way to enjoy this spiky cruciferous vegetable that’s a fun cross between cauliflower and broccoli. Creamy turmeric tahini sauce is deliciously perfect alongside!
I remember when I first discovered romanesco about 8 years ago.
In fact, I even created this crispy curry broccoflower recipe with it, I just happened to call it by its other name. More on that in a bit.
I don’t know if not encountering romanesco until I was 30 is evidence of a pretty sheltered produce life up to that point or, if stores have just gotten that much better about carrying a more wide variety.
Let’s go with the latter for my ego.
But these days, this weird vegetable that looks like a mix between little piles of Christmas trees and the back of a dinosaur is pretty easily found.
And if you’ve never tried it, I highly suggest picking one up!
WHAT IS ROMANESCO?
Technically, it’s a member of the brassica family. Aka a cruciferous vegetable.
Kohlrabi is another and I love this roasted kohlrabi dish equally as much as this romanesco side dish!
While it looks almost exactly like a mix of cauliflower and broccoli, romanesco is its own veggie. Those crazy fractal pattern florets definitely distinguish it as such!
From a flavor perspective, it has a slightly nutty flavor. It’s less bitter than broccoli and a bit “heartier” tasting than cauliflower.
It can be a confusing one to identify as romanesco goes by quite a few names!
You may see it referred to as cauliflower romanesco, Roman cauliflower, broccoli romanesco or, like I called it originally, broccoflower.
There seems to be a bunch of conflicting information as to the accuracy of all those “other” names so it’s best to just go with romanesco and leave it at that!
THE BEST WAY TO EAT ROMANESCO
Like almost any vegetable, roasting is my favorite way to enjoy romanesco.
Particularly when it comes to cruciferous vegetables, roasting just brings out the best in a vegetable.
It’s also the easiest and least messy cooking method so that’s always a win!
That said, you could also air fry it like this air fryer frozen broccoli recipe using the same approach for a similar crispy outcome.
HOW TO ROAST ROMANESCO
- Preheat oven to 400°F. If you have a convection setting, I always like to use that for roasting all vegetables. If you don’t have a convection setting, I recommend roasting at 425°F.
- Break the romanesco into florets and place in a large bowl.
- Whisk together avocado oil, minced garlic, juice and zest from the lemon with salt and pepper.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl and toss until every floret is coated.
- Spread the romanesco out onto a baking sheet.
- Roast for 10 minutes, stir/toss and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until crispy and starting to turn golden brown around the edges.
MAKING THE TURMERIC TAHINI SAUCE
While I can happily enjoy a full plate of roasted vegetables all alone, a delicious sauce to drizzle over them or dunk into never hurts!
This creamy turmeric tahini sauce comes together in just minutes and becomes the perfect tasty topper for roasted romanesco.
To make the turmeric tahini sauce you’ll need:
- creamy tahini (I recommend a good quality tahini like this one)
- lemon juice
- extra virgin olive oil
- maple syrup (or honey)
- minced garlic
- ground turmeric
- ground ginger
- Kosher salt
Mix all the ingredients except for the water in a bowl and stir until smooth.
Slowly add the water and whisk or stir together until you reach the desired consistency.
If you want to drizzle the sauce on the roasted romanesco, you may want it a little thinner than if dipping the romanesco into the sauce.
If you love the sound of this tahini sauce, make sure to check out this Blueberry White Bean Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing as it’s quite similar!
I often don’t blog these simple roasted vegetable recipes because, well, they’re just so simple it almost seems ridiculous to!
It’s how we actually eat in my house 90% of the time so it seems to only make sense to share it.
Especially if you’re like me, see fun things (like this romanesco) at the grocery store, buy them and then get home and just google: “fun thing” + recipe.
If that’s you – I hope this roasted romanesco recipe does the trick!
NEED IDEAS WHAT TO SERVE WITH ROASTED ROMANESCO?
Usually when I’m making roasted vegetables as a side dish for dinner, I keep the rest of the meal simple as well.
MORE EASY VEGETABLE SIDE DISHES LIKE THIS:
Roasted Romanesco with Turmeric Tahini Sauce
For the Romanesco
- 1 head romanesco broken into florets
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- zest from half a lemon
- juice from half a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Tahini Sauce
- 1/4 cup creamy tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place the romanesco florets in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients for the romanesco in a small bowl then pour into the bowl with the florets. Toss to combine.
- Spread out onto a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 10 minutes. Stir to toss the romanesco on the pan and roast for an additional 10 minutes. You can broil on high for the last 1-2 minutes for extra crispy edges if desired.
- While the romanesco roasts, make the tahini sauce by combining all the ingredients except water in a bowl. Whisk until smooth then drizzle the water in slowly while whisking until a sauce-like consistency results. It should be drippable but not too thin. Add or subtract water as necessary for desired result.
- Serve the roasted romanesco with the tahini sauce while hot.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.