What is Romanesco?
Romanescso (Roman cauliflower) is in season again. I picked up some of this beautiful, chartreuse coral-like vegetable with my weekly order of produce from Farmer and Son. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, romanesco belongs to the plant species Brassica oleracea, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, collard greens, savoy cabbage, kohlrabi, and gai lan. Romanesco originates from Lazio, Italy.
This dish of roasted romanesco with horseradish ricotta works equally with with florets of broccoli or cauliflower. Just crank up the oven to a high temperature, drizzle the romanesco with a little olive oil and sprinkle the florets with salt. Cook them until they start to blacken around the edges. While cooking, whisk some horseradish and olive oil into the ricotta, then season with salt and pepper. I grated fresh horseradish, but you can use horseradish from a jar, too. It made a delicious lunch for two, I think it would be a great side dish with roast chicken or beef.
What is Horseradish?
Horseradish, armoracia rusticana, is a root vegetable. It is cultivated and used worldwide as a spice and as a condiment, and historically, it has been used for medicinal purposes, too. Like romanesco, it is a member of the brassica family. The species is probably native to southeastern Europe and western Asia.
The root is typically grated and preserved in vinegar, salt, and sugar for use as a condiment. This is known as prepared horseradish. Horseradish sauce, mixed with mayonnaise or sour cream is also popular.
Horseradish is often confused with wasabi, another pungent condiment that’s common in Japanese cooking. Did you know that the wasabi served at Japanese restaurants is often horseradish paste mixed with green food colouring? True wasabi, wasabia japonica, comes from an entirely different plant and is said to have an earthy taste. Additionally, it’s green in colour instead of white.
You might also like to try this roasted romanesco with green pea hummus.
PS: If you’ve tried this roasted romanesco with horseradish ricotta or any other recipe on At Amanda’s Table, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below! If you’d like to read more, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter for stories, recipes and tips for simple, nutritious meals.PS: If you’d like to read more, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter for stories, recipes and tips for simple, nutritious meals.
Roasted Romanesco with Horseradish Ricotta
- 1/2 romanesco with its leaves, washed and cut into florets
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1-2 tsp fresh horseradish, grated substitute with bottled horseradish
- 1 lemon
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced) and line a tray with baking paper.
- Scatter the romanesco florets on the tray with the leaves, drizzle with 3 tbsp of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 10 minutes, until they're dark and crispy. Keep an eye of the leaves, which may need to be reomved before then.
- While the romanesco is cooking, whisk the ricotta in a small bowl with the remaining tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of horseradish, and a little salt and pepper. Taste it. Add the remaining horseradish if you like a bit more heat.
- When the romanesco is cooked, arrange the florets and leaves on a plate with the ricotta on the side. Serve with the wedges of lemon to squeeze over the romanesco. Serve immediately.