Romanesco cabbage Many, when they first see this vegetable, wonder: what is it - cauliflower or broccoli? In fact, this is Romanesco, or roman cabbage, the inflorescences of which are not just edible, but very tasty and healthy.

What is Romanesco

Romanesco cabbage is a member of the Cruciferous family, the most famous of which are different varieties of cabbage. In appearance, it resembles a colored one, but its pale green flowers form intricate pyramids, lined up in a spiral, which gives the vegetable a special beauty. The "structure" of Roman cabbage consists of smaller elements that mimic the shape of a large inflorescence, and these, in turn, are formed from an even larger number of small copies. And all of them are arranged in even spirals with mathematical precision. Captivating, right?

  • What is Romanesco
  • Chemical composition and nutritional value
  • List of Romanesco benefits
  • Possible dangers
  • How to cook properly
  • What to cook with roman cabbage
  • How to grow

Compared to cauliflower, Romanesco is softer and more sweet after cooking. Its stems are shorter and softer than broccoli, making it quick to cook and ready to eat raw. And the most delicious inflorescences are small, about 10 cm wide.

This bright light green vegetable looks rather strange, but very beautiful. It is enough to see Romanesco only once - and it will definitely not be confused with other vegetables. Outwardly, it is so bizarre that some sometimes joke that aliens sowed this cabbage on Earth, while others even consider it an ornamental plant.

Today it is generally accepted that Romanesco is a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. Although some researchers refute this theory, since, according to their calculations, Roman existed long before cauliflower. They say that the Etruscans who lived in the first millennium BC were the first to grow it. It was they who brought this culture to Tuscany, from where the Roman cabbage spread to other regions [1] [2]

Chemical composition and nutritional value

Its aroma resembles cauliflower, but at the same time it has a slight nutty flavor. Scientists and nutritionists consider Romanesco to be one of the most easily digestible vegetables. But in addition to its amazing appearance, this plant boasts an equally amazing chemical composition. And although scientists continue to study the features of this culture, but even on the basis of what has already been learned about it, we can say that this is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.

Romanesco is a dietary product that is low in calories but rich in vitamins and minerals, making it ideal for a vegetarian diet.

In the vegetable, scientists have found vitamins of group B, A, K, C, folic acid, fiber (although slightly less than in broccoli), iron, manganese, carotene, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and useful amino acids. And most importantly, it is an easily tolerated food for people with sensitive stomachs.

The table shows the nutrient content per 100 g of product [1]

Calorie content 30 kcal
Squirrels 2.5 g
Fats 0.4 g
Carbohydrates 4.1 g
Water 89 g
Ash 0.9 g
Vitamin A 3 μg
Vitamin C 70 mg
Vitamin B1 0.1 mg
Vitamin B2 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3 0.6 mg
Vitamin B4 45.2 mg
Vitamin B5 0.9 mg
Vitamin B6 0.2 mg
Vitamin B9 23 mg
Vitamin E 0.2 mg
Vitamin K 1 μg
Biotin 1.5 mcg
Magnesium 17 mg
Calcium 26 mg
Sodium 10 mg
Potassium 210 mg
Iron 1,4 mg
Phosphorus 51 mg
Copper 42 mg
Zinc 0.28 mg
Manganese 0.16 mg
Fluorine 1 μg
Selenium 0.6 μg

In Romanesco cabbage, scientists have found a flavonoid compound known as kaempferol. It is believed to be able to destroy cancer cells and prevent the formation of new ones [3]
There is also such a chemical compound as sulforaphane in cabbage, which increases the liver's ability to remove carcinogens, thereby preventing malignant degeneration of cells. The anticancer efficacy of this substance has been laboratory proven on cells of the bladder, breast, colon, prostate and ovaries [4]

The high content of carotenoids improves the appearance and tone of the skin. Rich reserves of iron, folic acid and vitamin C (100 g of the vegetable contains almost the daily norm of ascorbic acid) make roman cabbage an excellent choice for those who are struggling with anemia and infertility. And people suffering from a lack of taste or a metallic taste in the mouth claim that Romanesco helps to eliminate these symptoms as well. The researchers say it's all thanks to zinc.

The vegetable's fiber helps to improve digestion while providing a sense of fullness, which is beneficial for maintaining a healthy body weight. And the low calorie content makes the product an ideal ingredient in a weight loss diet. Since roman cabbage is a member of the Cruciferous family, it contains glucosinolates, sulfur and nitrogen compounds that naturally cleanse the kidneys.

List of Romanesco benefits

  •  List of Romanesco benefits Improves vision. The inflorescences contain a lot of vitamin A, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the eyes. This element prevents macular degeneration leading to visual impairment.
  • Reduces the risk of cancer. This delicious vegetable is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that has been shown to be effective in fighting cancer. [5]
  • Improves blood circulation. The iron stores in cabbage help increase red blood cell production. And the more red blood cells, the more oxygen and nutrients are transported throughout the body.
  • Activates brain functions. Improving blood circulation increases the functioning of the central nervous system. The more oxygen the brain cells receive, the more active they are and the shorter the response time of the neurons.
  • Kills infections. Many of the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found in Romanesco are known to ward off infections. Consequently, roman cabbage is one of the best vegetables for the prevention of many diseases.
  • Improves the condition of the digestive system. Like cauliflower or broccoli, Romanesco is rich in dietary fiber, which plays a key role in the digestive system and detoxification of the body.
  • Reduces cholesterol and sugar levels. Thanks to its fiber, roman cabbage is useful for regulating the "fat" and "sweetness" of the blood.
  • Strengthens the heart. Thanks to iron, vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins, roman cabbage lovers can significantly improve the condition of the heart, supplying it with all the necessary substances.
  • Protects against free radicals. Fiber and antioxidants are essential for fighting free radicals, which are known to cause cancer and other serious health problems.
  • Possible dangers

    Romanesco contains a large amount of fiber, which can be a problem with some diseases. In acute disorders of the digestive system, Roman cabbage provokes bloating, and in some cardiac diseases it affects the pressure inside the body. Cruciferous vegetables are not advised for people with thyroid dysfunction [6] vinegar (or other sour sauces) causes reflux.

    Avoiding roman cabbage is important for people with an individual intolerance to the vegetable, although such cases are rare.

    How to cook properly

     How to cook Romanesco properly This vegetable can replace cauliflower or broccoli in almost any recipe. Its delicate texture and sweet-nutty flavor make it possible to combine roman cabbage with a wide variety of ingredients. It fits perfectly into a plate of pasta or other stewed vegetables, goes well with cheese, and Italians often add it to their favorite pizza. The best taste is shown in young inflorescences. The leaves of this cabbage are also edible, but they can be very bitter.

    This vegetable without remorse can be fried, stewed, grilled or steamed, eaten raw or boiled. At the same time, Romanesco reaches its readiness much faster than other types of cabbage. A short heat treatment allows you to preserve the maximum amount of nutrients in the product. Experts advise boiling the inflorescences for no longer than 10 minutes, and with a couple of the desired consistency, they reach in 5-7 minutes.

    To maximize the benefits of a vegetable, you must choose and store it correctly. A wholesome romanesco is, first and foremost, fresh romanesco. You should buy only hard heads, without signs of decay, damage, mold, and the leaves should be fresh and green. A fresh and juicy vegetable will always feel a little heavier for its size.

    It is advisable to store the fruit in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container.

    What to cook with roman cabbage

     What to cook from Roman cabbage Different peoples have their own gastronomic preferences regarding what to cook from roman cabbage. The Italians, in whose culinary tradition this vegetable is almost national, prepare hundreds of different dishes from it. It's nice that even after heat treatment, Romanesco retains its delicate color.

    The easiest way to fry kale pyramids is olive oil and garlic. Many people love boiled romanesco seasoned with white wine vinegar and olive oil. It is possible that for dinner, Italians can serve a mix of Romanesco, broccoli and cauliflower, and to it - chicken or pasta. Americans prefer Roman vegetables with cheese sauce. Another option for a cheese-cabbage combination is as follows: put a little steamed Romanesco on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with grated cheese, and send it to the oven for a couple of minutes - just to melt the cheese. The "folk" recipe of oriental cuisine suggests lightly frying the Roman and Peking cabbage (if you wish, you can add other vegetables), then season everything with sesame oil, soy sauce, and ginger. In short, there are as many recipes as there are cooks.

    Steamed Garlic Romanesco

    For this dish you will need one head of Roman cabbage, half a teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper each, chopped garlic clove, lemon zest, and a tablespoon of olive oil.

    Mix all the spices. Rinse the cabbage and cut into quarters. Rub the Romanesco with the spice mixture and place in a double boiler for 4-6 minutes. The cooked cabbage should still be crispy (soft buds are a sign of an overcooked vegetable). This product goes well with rice. As a side dish, it will go well with meat or fish.

    How to grow

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    Despite the fact that the homeland of Romanesco is sunny Italy, it is a frost-resistant plant, so there is every chance to harvest Roman cabbage in our latitudes...

    This culture is grown in two ways: from seeds or seedlings. Seeds are sown in April, and when the third leaf appears (around May), transplant to a permanent place, observing a distance of 50-60 cm.To look after and grow this crop is required like broccoli, but agronomists warn: Romanesco is more capricious than other types of cabbage. She prefers alkaline soil, good watering, moist air, regular feeding and does not tolerate sudden temperature fluctuations [1]

    Romanesco is considered one of the most beautiful vegetables in the world. To some, this cabbage resembles a seashell, to others - a lush New Year tree, and still others look at some intricate pictures in it. But no matter what is considered in the appearance of this fractal cabbage, this will not change its "inner component": Romanesco belongs to the most useful vegetables known to mankind.

    Things to know (Q&A)

    Is romanesco a cabbage?

    Brassica romanesco is a fun vegetable in the same family as cauliflower and cabbage . Its more common name is broccoli romanesco and it produces lime green heads packed with smaller florets similar to its cousin, the cauliflowe

    Is romanesco a cauliflower?

    Romanesco goes by various names, including Romanesco broccoli, fractal broccoli, or Roman cauliflower, though it's considered to be a hybrid between cauliflower and broccoli . And it's part of the Brassica genus (also known as cruciferous vegetables), just like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kal

    What is the difference between cauliflower and romanesco?

    Romanesco broccoli has a similar but milder, sweeter, and nuttier flavor than both broccoli and cauliflower. ... The florets are dense, like cauliflower, but slightly more tender. To maintain its flavor and texture, don't overcook romanesc

    Is Romanesco cauliflower psychedelic?

    With its fun fractals and tree-like florets, Romanesco cauliflower adds a psychedelic spin to your CSA bo

    Is Romanesco related to cauliflower?

    Romanesco is one seriously cool vegetable. It's intricate, mathematical pattern makes it a fractal (you are totally allowed to nerd out on that). It's part of the brassica family (other members: cabbage, kale, and cauliflower), and has a flavor similar to broccol

    Is Romanesco closer to broccoli or cauliflower?

    Romanesco, most likely the least familiar name of the bunch, and not to be confused with romesco, is an edible bud that is also commonly referred to as Romanesco Cauliflower or Romanesco Broccoli, depending on where you are. ... Expect a flavor closer to broccoli , with a slightly earthier profil

    Is Romanesco cauliflower good for you?

    Romanesco is a part of the Brassica family, and like its fellow members cabbage and kale, the vegetable is loaded with vitamins C and K. It's also rich in fiber, protective carotenoids and a set of phytochemicals that may protect our bodies against molecular degeneratio

    Can you substitute Romanesco for cauliflower?

    Substitute it for Cauliflower.

    Romanesco and cauliflower go hand in hand, as they are in the same family, and have very similar in taste, texture, and versatility. Since they have similar characteristics, it's super simple to use Romanesco instead of conventional cauliflower in any of your favorite recipe

    What does Romanesco cauliflower taste like?

    Romanesco is described as possessing a somewhat earthy taste that meshes elegantly with other flavors like garlic, white wine and even chili pepper

    What is the green spiky cauliflower called?

    Romanesco broccoli

    Romanesco broccoli (also known as Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower or simply Romanesco) is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is bright green in color and odd spheres jutting out across its surfac

    What is Romanesco good for?

    With its high levels of vitamin C and carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene that act as antioxidants, romanesco fights off free radicals, boosts your immune system, and promotes healthy skin. ... Additionally, romanesco is high in fiber, so it is good for your gut health and weight loss goals .

    What is the spiky cauliflower?

    Romanesco broccoli (also known as Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower, or simply Romanesco) is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea.

    Why is Romanesco a fractal?

    The atypical shape of the Romanesco cauliflower is explained by the fact that its stems produce buds more and more rapidly , whereas the production rate is constant in other cauliflowers. This acceleration gives each floret a pyramidal appearance, making the fractal aspect of the structure clear. 13 July 2021

    Is green cauliflower the same as Romanesco?

    Also called the Broccoflower, the Romanesco cauliflower is a green variety that has striking florets that give its head a spiky appearance. Both cauliflower and broccoli are from the same species, Brassica oleracea. ... One of these is the Romanesco cauliflower, also called the Broccoflower or Romanesco Broccoli.