I’d never cooked Romanesco before today.
I wasn’t really trying to avoid it; it’s just that whenever it’s been an either/or option in my sharebox, I’ve always drawn a box with the “or.” But last week, I guess because there are fewer subscribers in the fall, everybody got one. Yippee!
With its hypnotizing, Fibonacci spirals, Romanesco looks exotic, but it’s basically a crisper, milder cauliflower.
Compared to “regular” cauliflower, Romanesco is snappier, both in texture and in flavor. Raw, it has much more crunch and less earth (frankly, it reminds me as much of fresh kohlrabi as it does cauliflower). Even fully cooked, it remains delicately al dente and takes on hints of toasted almonds. Delicious.
Besides, it just looks cool. Romaneso’s got a mesmerizing, fractal structure that fan-curls out in a gorgeous, logarithmic spiral that appeals to the former math geek in this food geek.
But what the heck to do with it?
Since I still had 18 eggs in the fridge and I’d be getting a new dozen in my share this Thursday, I decided it was frittata time. Plus, I’m still trying to adhere to Meatless Mondays (actually, I shoot for 3 meatless days a week), so Frittata Mondatta it is.
You don’t really need a recipe here – any veggie combo will work, and pretty much any cheese combo, too.
- 6 eggs, beaten lightly
- 1/2 onion, sliced thin
- 1 small red pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced thin
- 1 small head Romanesco, cored and broken or cut into small pieces
- 1 large handful of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers, and cook 5-6 minutes, until the onions are good and soft and the peppers, fragrant.
- Add the Romanesco. Sauté for another 7-8 minutes, then put a lid on and let the veggies steam for 5 more.
- Reduce heat to low. Add the eggs, and scatter the grated cheese on top. Cook about 5 minutes. Your frittata will likely still be runny on the top. That’s fine. You’re going to finish it gently in the oven.
- Bake the frittata until just firm (could be 4-5 minutes, could be 10, depending on the size of your pan and how many vegetables you’ve crowded in there).
Slice and serve. The beauty of a frittata is its versatility. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I had mine alongside some rye toast and a green salad (and a glass of white Bordeaux).