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This roasted romanesco recipe, sometimes called romanesco broccoli or Roman cauliflower, makes a stunning and simple side dish for any night of the week! It’s a bit of a rare find where I live, so when I spot it at the store, it’s exciting to try something different from the usual broccoli and cauliflower. But just like regular roasted broccoli or roasted cauliflower, this easy side uses a short list of ingredients, needs just minutes to prep, and pairs well with dozens of meals for dinner. Win.
Why You’ll Love This Roasted Romanesco Recipe
- Roasted, nutty, slightly sweet taste
- Firm, yet tender texture with crispy edges
- 5 simple ingredients
- Just 10 minutes prep
- Nutty flavor that pairs well with any protein or main dish!
What Is Romanesco?
Romanesco is a vegetable in the brassicas family, which includes other cruciferous plants such as cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts. It has a chartreuse color, pointy florets that look like miniature Christmas trees, firm texture, and lightly earthy flavor.
Although sometimes known as romanesco cauliflower, it is a separate variety of vegetable and actually tastes more like broccoli (mild, nutty, and a little sweet). Like both broccoli and cauliflower, it holds up to a variety of different cooking methods, including roasting, sauteing, stir fry, and more.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for roasting romanesco, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Romanesco – Choose this veggie similar to how you would select cauliflower. Look for tightly bound buds, fresh looking outer leaves, and no signs of blemishes.
- Olive Oil – With so few ingredients in this romanesco recipe, I like to use a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. However, any neutral cooking oil, such as light olive oil or avocado oil, will work.
- Seasonings – Including garlic powder, sea salt (or kosher salt is fine), and black pepper. If you like more heat, substitute crushed red pepper flakes for the black pepper (or add both!).
How To Cook Romanesco
This section shows how to cook romanesco broccoli, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Prep. Cut the head of romanesco into bite-sized florets.
- Toss. Add the florets to a bowl, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with seasonings. Toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet.
- Roast. This romanesco recipe is finished when it’s tender and browned on the edges.
- Cheeses – Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or goat cheese to the finished dish after roasting. You can also toss with grated parmesan before roasting for a subtle crispy crust!
- Lemon – Tossed roasted romanesco with a squeeze of lemon juice, or add fresh lemon zest.
- Spices – For extra flavor, add a sprinkle paprika, cumin, or homemade Italian seasoning together with the other seasonings.
- Store: Recipes with romanesco taste best fresh, but like most veggies, you can store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: Cut the florets ahead of time, then store them in the fridge. When ready to cook, just toss in oil, season, and roast.
- Reheat: Warm this romanesco broccoli recipe in a 350 degree F oven, until heated through.
- Freeze: Flash freeze on a lined sheet pan until solid. Transfer to a container or freezer bag for long term storage for up to 3 months. Reheat directly from frozen.
What To Serve With Romanesco
Romanesco is very versatile and tastes delicious with so many main dishes. Try it with these popular ones:
- Chicken – Chicken is my go-to for dinner. If you’re like me, pair this romanesco recipe with sweet balsamic chicken, Italian-inspired sun-dried tomato chicken (my personal fave), cheesy and creamy lemon chicken, or fresh chicken Caprese depending on your mood. If you prefer to keep it simple, you can’t go wrong with baked chicken legs!
- Beef – Serve tender New York strip steak, juicy Instant Pot beef short ribs, or simple garlic butter steak bites with this dish for an elegant meal.
- Fish – Try romanesco roasted alongside baked sea bass, creamy Tuscan salmon, or simple pan fried tilapia.
- Pork – Cook juicy air fryer pork chops or a tender pork tenderloin to go with this easy side.
Romanesco Recipe (Quick & Easy!)
Make this easy roasted romanesco recipe with just a few ingredients, in 25 minutes! It's nutty, lightly sweet, and tender, with crispy edges.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Cut the romanesco into bite-sized florets.
In a large bowl, toss the florets with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Spread the florets onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until tender and browned on the edges.
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Serving size: 1 cup
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