Romanesco was the curiosity of the farmer's market this fall. Cousin of broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower, the romanesco is "so visually stunning an object that on first encounter it's hard to imagine you're looking at a garden vegetable rather than an alien artifact," says John Walker.
Romanesco fascinates us because it is a natural fractal -- a shape that, when broken, produces a smaller approximate copy of the whole. The cauliflower family of vegetables is experiencing a "brilliant comeback" says Amy Scattergood.
The vegetable that the first President Bush banned is now even available as a pendant light, designed by Ulrika Jarl, for sale at Habitat here in London (£55.00, about $110).
Not up for hanging romanesco above the dining room table? Try serving it gently steamed with a drizzle of olive oil. Don't steam too long though, or those fractal forms will turn to mush.