Make Ahead

Spicy-Sour Romanesco

April 22, 2013
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4 as a side dish
Author Notes

While shoveling down a dish of Pizzeria Mozza's broccoli rabe with chiles and vinegar on a recent trip to Los Angeles, I should have stopped and considered a little more thoughtfully how to re-create the dish, but it was so good, I couldn't slow down. The vegetables were cooked al dente and served at room temperature; they had a subtle, bitter edge mixed with a tingle of heat finished with a smack of vinegar. I came close to ordering a second portion and kind of kicked myself when I got home for not following through. I've been thinking about it ever since.

When I went to make this dish at home, I couldn't find any broccoli rabe at the farmers' market, but I did find young romanesco, which I scooped up, figuring it would do until I could get hold of some broccoli rabe. What I came up might not make it onto the menu at Mozza, but it's delicious, fast, and easy. The recipe would be great to try with broccoli rabe/rapini (blanched first), broccolini, Chinese mustard greens, or even dandelion greens, and in any case, look for thin, long stalks. And if I'd had a wood-fired oven to roast the romanesco in, I certainly would have gone that route.

This is one of those recipes with so few ingredients that the quality of each matters a lot. If you've been hesitating to use that fancy bottle of sherry vinegar hiding in the back of your cupboard, now's the time to liberate it! If your container of chile flakes has been sitting in your spice rack since the last presidential administration, treat yourself to a fresh one. You'll be glad you did!


What You'll Need
  • 1 pound young romanesco, washed and shaken dry
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt or sea salt
  • 3-5 tablespoons best-quality sherry vinegar
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  1. Heat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Cut the romanesco so that the stalks are not more than 1/2-inch thick. Scatter the pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Roast the romanesco for 12-15 minutes, tossing the it once or twice, until it turns bright green and is slightly al dente.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.
  5. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes. Allow to cool a little more. Add more vinegar and/or chile flakes and/or salt to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and serve at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • EmilyC
  • foxeslovelemons
  • mrslarkin
  • hardlikearmour
  • pierino

10 Reviews

EmilyC April 26, 2013
Yum! I use sherry vinegar all of the time on vegetables, but I don't think to add it to roasted vegetables. So thanks for this. Can't wait to try it soon!
foxeslovelemons April 23, 2013
Ok, so THIS is what romanesco is! I feel like sometimes I've heard people use that word when they really meant romesco (sauce), but I knew it wasn't right. haha. I love your use of sherry vinegar in this!
vvvanessa April 24, 2013
Haha! Yes, it's often good to clarify the "romesco-romanesco" problem. It just happened when I posted this recipe on a facebook page. I love me some sherry vinegar!
mrslarkin April 23, 2013
romanesco is one sexy vegetable. this sounds amazing.
vvvanessa April 24, 2013
Thanks, mrslarkin! I'm definitely going with harlikearmour's idea of putting it on pizza, in case you needed an idea for Pizza Friday : )
mrslarkin April 24, 2013
oh that is a good idea!
hardlikearmour April 23, 2013
This sounds fantastic. I bet it would make a great pizza topping, too.
vvvanessa April 24, 2013
I'm on it!
pierino April 22, 2013
Damn, I love Mozza!
vvvanessa April 24, 2013
Now I do, too!