Pan Roasted Romaneso, Hazelnuts and Crispy Bits
Romanesco tastes like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli, and is studded with fractal-shaped florets that make it look like a magical mythical structure. The slabs get super-tender, and the loose pieces of florets get browned and crunchy. If the pan is dry, you’ll risk burning instead of browning. Add oil as needed to keep things sizzling.
Ingredients – 4 servings
- 1 medium head of Romanesco or cauliflower (about 2 lb.), trimmed
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 50g hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 100g chopped parsley
- 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
- Flaky sea salt
- Lemon wedges (for serving)
Preheat oven to 200°C. Stand Romanesco on its stem and cut it from top to bottom into 1"-thick slabs. Don’t worry about the outer edges that may crumble or smaller florets that break away; nudge those into a pile along with any nice-looking leaves. Cut loose bits into ½" pieces; season bits and Romanesco steaks with kosher salt.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add 2 Tbsp. oil and slip Romanesco steaks into pan—puzzle them together so they don’t overlap; work in batches if needed. Cook, rotating skillet periodically for even browning, until dark brown underneath, about 5 minutes. Turn and drizzle a bit of oil over second sides and into empty areas of pan. Scatter chopped pieces of Romanesco into spaces between steaks and toss gently to coat with oil (add more if needed).
Transfer pan to oven; roast Romanesco until a tester inserted into stems slips through without much effort, 15–18 minutes. Steaks should be firm enough to still hold together without being crunchy.
Transfer steaks to a platter. Return pan with loose pieces of Romanesco to medium-high heat. Add butter, hazelnuts, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until everything is toasted and crisp around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add parsley and vinegar and stir up any browned bits. Spoon over steaks and season with sea salt. Serve with lemon wedges.