I love the Romanesco Cauliflower! It has a really grassy flavor and because of it’s bright green color, I like to cheat with it, and use it to represent the ‘Greens’ in a Winter dinner menu.
SUNDAY NIGHT DINNER MENU:
ROASTED CHICKEN with WINTER CITRUS
Chicken roasted with Lemons, Grapefruit, Maple cured Bacon, and Thyme Butter
SWEET BUTTERY CARROT PUREE
RAW ROMANESCO CAULIFLOWER SALAD
TURNIP AND RUTABAGO GRATIN
RAW ROMANESCO CAULIFLOWER SALAD: In a mortar put 4 fresh garlic cloves coarsely chopped. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Then add 4 hard cooked egg yolks, (the yolks only) to the mortar and pestle and pound until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of sherry or red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Transfer this mixture to a small bowl and whisk in half a cup of extra virgin olive oil. Taste. You might need to add a little more salt. Grind over some freshly ground pepper. Set aside. It should be wickedly stingingly pungent.
In another salad bowl, slice into quarter-inch slices one local market Romanesco cauliflower, (or you can use any cauliflower you like… the yellow, purple or white cauliflower, or even a mixture of a few gives a nice colored dish) You need about 4 cups total of super thin slices and florets.
Pour the dressing over the top in small batches, mix and taste, add more accordingly, until the level of flavor is where you want it to be. It will be thick and sauce-ike. Scatter over 2 tablespoons of capers, a half cup scattering of chopped parsley leaves and the leftover finely diced 4 egg whites on top. Mix thoroughly.
I serve this as a side dish for my Roasted Chicken with Winter Citrus and a Sweet Buttery Carrot Puree. But you can do it with lamb, or even pork. The crispness of the raw vegetable balances out a heavy, perhaps even fatty meat dish, well.
If you have leftover salad: Mix the raw Romanesco Cauliflower salad with a beaten raw egg, some diced cooked potato, and top with crumbled feta and bake. Serve as a side with plump and juicy pork sausages and hot apple sauce. Yum.