Romanesco: Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day

I tried a new vegetable (for me) for the St. Patrick’s Day posting. It is called Romanesco and is a member of the Brassica family, similar to both broccoli and cauliflower. Here is what has to say: (Direct Quote)


“Romanesco, most likely the least familiar name of the bunch, and not to be confused with romesco, is an edible bud that is also commonly referred to as Romanesco Cauliflower or Romanesco Broccoli, depending on where you are. Confusing, right? It’s coloration falls somewhere in the middle of broccoli and cauliflower, but what truly sets it apart from the others is it’s unmistakable texture. It’s spiky yet symmetrical style looks like an unsolved math puzzle, and offers a super textural, crunchy experience. Similar to broccoli, Romanesco is great for anything from crudites, to a simple steamed dish, or even roasted on a sheet pan. Expect a flavor closer to broccoli, with a slightly earthier profile.”


I looked up its nutritional profile and this unusual looking vegetable has almost 90 grams of Vitamin C per cup and is high in potassium and magnesium but low in sodium with only 39 calories per saving. But I think a side attraction is the unusual color green, which can be combined with other colorful vegetables such as carrots or sweet potatoes.


I decided the best way to start was to steam the entire head of Romanesco and then in the future play around with breaking it apart and maybe combining it with one of the colorful cauliflowers and roast it in the oven. The idea of placing the whole Romanesco on a platter appealed to me.


So, instead of a list of ingredients and detailed directions, here is what I did:

I removed the green leaves fro the bottom of the plant and sliced off about 1/2 inch from the base, which looks a lot like a cauliflower base. Then I placed it in my steamer and steamed it until I could pierce it with a fork, under 20 minutes (depending on the size.) I lifted it carefully onto a platter, sprayed on some avocado oil and topped it with fresh dill. It easily broke apart with a fork and I shared it with my daughter and daughter-in-law.

In the future I might try broiling it or adding some pieces to my Indian stew (kitchari). The flavor was very reminiscent of cauliflower, but not exactly, like a kissin’ cousin!


Chilled Wild Rice Salad

I love wild rice, which is actually a misnomer since it is really the seed of an aquatic grass:”a tall aquatic North American perennial grass (radicchio aquatica) that yields an edible grain; also:  the grain.”

Here are 10 benefits of wild rice from

  • Wild rice is a gluten free food.
  • It does not contain sodium: good news for your blood pressure and your heart.
  • It does take about an hour to cook, but rewards you with a lovely nutty flavor.
  • It contains twice as much protein as brown rice.*
  • Wild rice can be eaten by diabetics, since it is actually a grass, and the grains are not polished or refined.  Of course, small quantities are recommended.
  • It is very rich in antioxidants—containing up to 30 times more than white rice! Which means regular consumption of wild rice protects you from disease and aging.
  • Because of its high fiber content, wild rice keeps your digestion smooth and helps lower cholesterol.
  • Wild rice is a good source of essential minerals such as phosphorus, zinc and folate, which give you energy and nurture your bones.
  • Vitamins A, C and E are essential for overall health and immunity. Wild rice contains these vital vitamins.
  • A serving of wild rice is lower in calories than other rice varieties, so you can enjoy it without worrying about weight gain.

*Note: I soaked my wild rice overnight so cooking time is reduced; thus, these measurements are for soaked rice. Use the package directions if you are not soaking.  1/4 cup dry = 1/2 cup soaked = 3/4 cup cooked in 1 1/2 cups water or stock.  When you soak the rice, the “grain” splits and softens, which shortens the cooking process to about 30 minutes instead of 40-50 minutes.

Utensils: Bowl for soaking, pot for cooking, sutting board and knife
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1/2 hour for pre-soaked rice: about 45 min. for non-soaked
Categories: Gluten Free, No Sugar Added, Vegan


1/4 cup wild rice, soaked several hours or overnight, drained
1 1/2 c. water or stock (If not soaking, follow package directions)

Approximately one cup veggies, such as:
3-4 slivers of onion or leek
1/4 cup grated organic yellow summer squash (w/skins)
1/4 cup grated organic zucchini (w/skins)
1/4 cup sliced or grated radishes
1/4 cup chopped organic cucumber (w/skins)
1/8 cup walnuts, chopped

3/4 leaves of raddichio
1 Tbl. herb mixture, such as Za’atar, Italian herbs, Parsley & Dill combo, etc.
and/or salt & pepper to taste
2-3 Tbl. olive, avocado or other oil of your choice
juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Cook wild rice and place in ‘fridge for chilling (Can prepare day before.)
  2. Place all the prepared veggies in a bowl and toss with walnuts.
  3. Whisk the herbs and oil (and/or salt and pepper); add to veggies and toss.
  4. Mix in the chilled, cooked wild rice, adding a little more oil if the salad seems too dry.
  5. Line a platter with leaves of raddichio, spoon on the salad and serve chilled.Serves 2-4, depending on whether it is a side dish or part of an entree.

P.S. One of the drawback of wild rice is its higher price tag compared with white or brown rice, so you often find it mixed with less expensive rices. Follow cooking directions on package, but keep in mind you can always soak all rices several hours to reduce cooking time.

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