Food adventure: Romanesco

Isn't Romanesco the most interesting vegetable? Looks like something from outer space. But it's not. It's Italian.

After yesterday’s trip to the natural food store, I was feeling adventurous when I went to Wegmans to get something for dinner tonight. The plan was to make hamburgers and I needed buns.

But one of my favorite Wegmans’ employees, Al Springer, was working in the produce section so I changed my mind.

It started when a little girl picked up a strange looking vegetable and asked her mom what it was. Al explained that it’s Romanesco, an Italian cauliflower.

Al’s a wealth of information, so of course I asked for more information. Not only does he know all about food, he’s got great tips and recipes that even an idiot like me can prepare.

I asked if it was a novelty vegetable, something designed for the holidays, seeing as  how it looked like little Christmas trees. In fact, if you break it apart instead of cutting it with a knife, the flourettes look just like little trees. Nifty for a holiday veggie tray.

Al explained that Romanesco has been grown for centuries in Italy, but this bunch came locally from a farm in Clyde. So not only was I going to try something new, I was buying locally grown food.


Even though Al shared a few ways to prepare this new vegetable, I opted for the easiest: I ate it raw. And let me tell you , it’s yummy. Sweeter than cauliflower with a nicer texture.

And while we were talking, Al mentioned making greens and beans. To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever had greens and beans, and I know I’ve never used a cannellini bean. So he told me how to make greens and beans, and viola. Dinner tonight is meatloaf with baked potatoes, leftover acorn squash, and greens and beans.

I enjoyed it all. In fact, I’d venture to say it was one of my favorite meals in recent memory. Not so sure about Cassie and David. Cassie doesn’t love meat and David doesn’t like vegetables. Bummer for them, eh?


7 responses to “Food adventure: Romanesco

  1. I think Romanesco are uniquely beautiful. They are grown here also in Germany. Every two weeks I go to the Saturday market and want to buy one but hubby says no. One day I will buy one and give it a try.
    You say raw, mmh maybe I try a little first before I cook it:)

    • It’s really, really good. Tender and a little sweet. Maybe the produce manager will let you break off a piece and try it! 🙂 If your husband likes cauliflower maybe that’ll convince him to give it a try. Unless he’s like my husband, who doesn’t eat vegetables. Then I have to sneak them into recipes!

  2. Pingback: Another Foodie website « Sohan Dhande's Blog

  3. Hey Joanne! What a nice post 🙂 We were happy to hear that Al was so helpful and that your meal was enjoyable! We will be sure to share your story with Al!

    • Al is the best, as are all of the employees at the ER Wegmans. I went to the Pittsford Wegmans last week and couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Not that everyone wasn’t super nice. It was just too overwhelming.
      I like my little ER Wegmans, where the employees take time to chat, they recognize you every week, and the mood is calm and relaxed. Yesterday, for example, I had a lovely chat with an employee stocking the milk; I learned about organic milk and pasturization and lots of other lovely milk trivia. I also chatted with an employee in the cheese section about keeping cheese fresh and chatted with the folks at the deli counter for a while about ham. Everyone knows everyone, and it’s like a little family get together every time you shop.
      You can’t get that kind of relaxed interaction as a super store. 🙂

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