Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cooking Romanesco

Romanesco is a variety of cauliflower that is just gorgeous. It is actually a natural fractal, which is "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole" (thanks wikipedia!) In this case, it is a logarithmic spiral, and each bud consists of a series of smaller buds that are also logarithmic spirals. As soon as I saw it at the farmers market, I of course thought: Awesome. But what does it taste like?

I took it home and considered what to do with it. Here's another view, of me contemplating this strange vegetable:

Ultimately, I decided on cooking it the same way I do cauliflower. So I chopped it up. At this point, it looks like a tiny felled evergreen forest!

I roasted it on 450, tossed with olive oil and salt. I used a grey sea salt that I had instead of regular kosher salt. Then, when it came out, I grated fresh parmesan over it. I understand that it looks a bit burned. That is called caramelization, and it tastes delicious.

Sidebar: ignore that fish. It tasted like the void, as Travis says. It's as if the fish had negative flavor, so that it not only was bland, but it pulled the flavor out of the bacon and sent it off into some abyss. I ate a lot of romanesco.

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