Sometimes I like to keep things ultra simple and showcase one vegetable in a recipe. There’s something really incredible about romanesco. There’s only a few short weeks left of seeing this little dude in the market/farmer’s markets so I try and gobble him up whenever I can. Romanesco is the love baby of cauliflower and broccoli but with a slightly nuttier flavor but the firm texture of cauliflower. This dish was meant to really bring out the delicate nature of this beautiful exotic veggie and a simple pairing of a cashew cream sauce was all it really needed.
Romanesco is rich in folate, iron, protein and minerals and has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti viral and ANTIOXIDANT properties thanks to its vitamin rich content. If you can’t find romanesco, no fear… this recipe will work fine with cauliflower.
For the cashew sauce, I chose to add the superfood, spirulina, not only to lend a slightly green color to the sauce but also for its body-goodness. You can read more about this favorite algae of mine here. It’s entirely optional but if theres an opportunity for you to incorporate loads more nutrition to your food, why not? Without the addition of wine to this sauce, its pretty much my go to “cream sauce” (I just cut the amount of water) and for a cheesier flavor I will add more nutritional yeast.
- 1 cup cashews, soaked and drained
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- juice of 1/2 lemon (make sure to zest first and reserve zest)
- 1 tbs parsley leaves
- 1 tsp spirulina (optional)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tsps agar agar (optional but helps thicken the sauce)*
- 1/2 cup panko or any white vegan bread crumb
- 1 tbs minced parsley, plus 1 tbs more for garnish
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbs neutral oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- For the Romanesco Steaks and assembly
- 2 tbs oil
- 1 large romanesco head, cut along the core into 4 equal size "steaks" (*cauliflower can be subbed)
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- pinch of fresh or dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Lightly brush steaks with oil and sprinkle with salt, red pepper and thyme.
- Place in oven and roast until tender (about 25 mins)
- Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the breadcrumbs and place on a small sheet pan.
- Cook in oven for no more than 5 mins, or until light golden brown. Place in a bowl to cool.
- In a blender, combine all ingredients until smooth.
- Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat while maintaining a rolling boil and whisk for 3-5 mins until reduced and thick.
- Taste for seasonings.
- Remove tender romanesco steaks from oven.
- Ladle plates with equal amounts of cream, placing romanesco steaks above and sprinkling with breadcrumbs, remaining lemon zest, reserved parsley and finishing with sea salt.
- Agar agar flakes can be found at most natural food stores or online and is a plant based thickener or gelatin alternative.