Cool Ingredient: Romanesco Broccoli

There aren’t a lot of ingredients as visually stunning as Romanesco broccoli. Its shape is a fractal — a self-repeating collection of florets that seem to swirl on, tinier and tinier, forever. I don’t often see it at the store (we get it from time to time in our weekly farm box), but I’m sure if you look hard enough at Whole Foods you’ll see it every once in a while.

The texture is much like cauliflower, but the flavor is unquestionably broccoli. We got a bunch last week, and made veggie pizza with it. Give it a shot next time you want to jazz up traditional broccoli with something a little trippier.


We ended up stumbling upon a winner with the broccoli pizza, so I’ve added the recipe below.



Recipe: Broccoli Veggie Pizza
1 batch of homemade or store-bought pizza dough
1 bunch of Romanesco broccoli (or regular broccoli)
1 container of white button mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 ball of fresh mozzarella (torn or cut in pieces), or 1 bag shredded mozzarella
1 canned whole tomatoes, drained (diced or crushed will work too)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic
Dash or two of red wine vinegar
Coarse salt and pepper
Additional olive oil for brushing crust


Heat oven and pizza stone as hot as you can get it. Mine goes to 550 degrees or so if I set it to broil.


Combine canned tomatoes, garlic, tablespoon olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until the consistency of sauce. Simmer in saucepan over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until sauce thickens and garlic is fragrant. If you don’t have a food processor, just use crushed tomatoes and dice the garlic up very finely before simmering.


Onions and mushrooms:
Sauté mushrooms in a bit of olive oil until they’ve released most of their liquid. Add a bit more oil and onion slices, sauté everything until caramelized.


Steam for 6-7 minutes until tender but not mushy.


Toss the pizza crust and place on a peel or baking sheet. Lightly brush crust with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread cooked sauce on oiled crust. Sprinkle onions and mushrooms and then add pieces of broccoli. Top with mozzarella pieces or shreds.


Cook pizza on stone until crust is golden brown and top is bubbly.

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