Sometimes known as Romanesco broccoli, Romanesco cauliflower, or chou Romanesco, this striking brassica originally comes from northern Italy, where it was described as early as the 16th century. At the Hollywood Farmers' Market, it is usually available for a couple of months in the fall.
The Romanesco tastes similar to cauliflower, with a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. It can generally be used in any cauliflower recipe, though we favor preparations that allow us to admire its fractal form, such as steaming it whole or breaking off the points and serving them as crudité. When buying, choose a tight head with firm florets and crisp leaves. It should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within a few days before it loses its firmness.
Related: Word of Mouth: Brassica
(Images: Gregory Han)