Spicy Roasted Romanesco

Romanesco is a beautiful, wild, weird-looking vegetable.

Spicy roasted garlicky romanesco is delicious as are most roasted vegetables.

A lime green – almost chartreuse – color, romanesco is a happy marriage between a cauliflower and a broccoli. Texture-wise it’s more like cauliflower, and it can be used in just about any recipe that requires cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli rabe, or plain broccoli.

It’s slightly nuttier and earthier tasting than any of those vegetables, and, if I loved it first for its good looks, I love it now for its great taste. I bought my romanesco for a photo shoot – what a pretty model! – and then I ate it. Inspired by a pizza place in NY that serves a bitter, spicy, sour, and delicious broccoli rabe, I decided to give my psychedelic looking romanesco a similar treatment. And it worked.

Spicy Roasted Romanesco

Keyword romanesco, roasted vegetables
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tania Van Pelt


  • 1 pound young romanesco chopped
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and thinly sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice 1 to 2 lemons
  • Dried chile flakes depending on desired level of spiciness


  1. Heat the oven to 425ºF. 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, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, and a pinch of coarse sea salt.
  2. Roast the romanesco for 12-15 minutes, tossing the it once or twice, until it turns bright green and is slightly al dente.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Toss to coat with fresh lemon juice and chile flakes.
  4. Allow to cool and season to taste with more fresh lemon juice, chile flakes, olive oil, and salt, as needed.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.