My favorite part of the week is Saturday mornings (not too early, I do love to sleep in) when I get to go down to the Union Square Greenmarket. This place makes my heart sing. So many beautiful veggies and fruits, vibrant colors and friendly local farmers ready to share their wealth of knowledge of their crops. Although I do love summer most, Fall is becoming a closer and closer runner up. This week, I couldn’t resist getting one of the most remarkable veggies ever in my opinion- ROMANESCO. This bright lime green relative of cauliflower is called a “christmas tree for aliens” by some, but for me its simply the most psychedelic veggie on the planet. The flavor is mild and earthy, and the florets keep together nicely even when cooked through.
Most of the time when I go to farmer’s markets, I let inspiration take over-I might have an idea for a recipe in mind but I don’t necessarily have all the ingredients figured out. In this case I knew I wanted a beautiful head of Romanesco but the purple potatoes, rainbow radish and kale were veggies that jumped out at me to complete this delicious fall dish.
The trick to delicious steamed cauliflower, broccoli, or in this case Romanesco, is to add a little bit of garlic when steaming. After a couple minutes of steaming, the garlic starts to let out its aroma which will make the Romaneso fragrant and garlicky. SO GOOD. I have only recently discovered this and I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this small trick. Romanesco is high in vitamin C and dietary fiber, and is thought to have anti-carcinogenic properties.
The purple potatoes are also a health powerhouse- the flavonoid which makes the vivid purple color is called Anthocyanin, a strong anti-inflammatory and anti carcinogenic properties.
If you can’t get your hands on Romanesco, not to worry! You can use broccoli or cauliflower as a substitute.
- 1 medium romanesco
- 2 garlic cloves
- 300 grams of purple potatoes
- handful of kale
- 1 medium sized rainbow radish
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- handful of dill, finely chopped
- ½ Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- juice of half of a lemon
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- Boil a cup of water in a medium sized pot and add steamer basket (or use a steamer pot).
- Chop the garlic into small slivers and add to the steamer basket. Cover and steam for 2-3 min. Add the romanesco florets and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and steam for about 8 minutes, or until the romanesco is slightly soft but not mushy. Set aside and let cool slightly.
- In the meantime, boil 2 cups of water in a small pot. Chop the potatoes in half and add to water. Boil for about 10 min or until potatoes are tender when poked with fork. Set aside and let cool slightly, then chop into desired size chunks.
- To make the dressing, mince the shallot, chop the dill finely and combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Heat a pan (no olive oil) and add pine nuts. Let them brown and remove from heat.
- Chop kale and massage with your hands for about a minute. Chop radish into bite size chunks. Add the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!