Purple Cauliflower & Green Romanesco Broccoli

Trisha Shirey, Director of Flora & Fauna - 31st January 2014

Purple “Graffiti” cauliflower and chartreuse green Romanesco broccoli are adding a crispy, sweet crunch to our salad bar. Enjoy these winter garden favorites steamed, roasted, baked and in soups and stews. The spiky spiral shaped Romanesco is actually a broccoli but grows more like a cauliflower. Both are heart healthy and good sources of fiber.

Baked Cauliflower Recipe


1 large head of cauliflower, washed and leaves trimmed
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon Herbs de Provence or other spice blend


Place the whole cauliflower in a steamer basket and steam over hot water for about 12 to 15 minutes. It will still be fairly firm. Carefully move the cauliflower to a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Mix the remaining ingredients together. Top the cauliflower with the bread crumb mixture, pressing it firmly into the top. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven until it is tender and lightly browned. Cover loosely with foil if it begins to brown too much.


Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Roasting gives cauliflower a mild sweet flavor that makes it more appealing to everyone. Adding the garlic at the end prevents it from getting bitter when roasting. I use a Microplane grater on the garlic to avoid large pieces of garlic in the dressing. Use parchment paper to line the roasting pan to ease clean up. Freshly harvested cauliflower may need less cooking time than indicated.


1 large head of cauliflower, separated into florets
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Dressing mix:
2 cloves finely minced or grated garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon juice from the capers
2 tablespoons fined grated lemon zest
2 tablespoon lemon juice


Combine the cauliflower, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper in a covered bowl or in a plastic bag and shake to combine well. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and bake uncovered for fifteen to twenty minutes at 450 degrees, or until slightly browned and tender.

Combine the remaining ingredients and toss with the cauliflower immediately before serving. Serve warm.



Curried cauliflower – Omit capers and caper juice and add 2 teaspoons of curry powder to the dressing mix.

Cheesy cauliflower – Omit lemon zest and lemon juice and add ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is nicely browned.

Dilled cauliflower – Add 2 teaspoons minced fresh dill to the dressing mix. Omit the capers and caper juice.

Roasted winter vegetables – Add broccoli florets and Brussels sprouts to the cauliflower and roast them together. Cut large Brussels sprouts in half or in quarters to allow them to cook in the same time as other vegetables.