Scott from Real Epicurean is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and we are steadily marching towards the big 2 year celebration.
This week it's another farmers' market find and it's the first time I've managed to score myself one of these - it makes my mathematician heart flutter, the sculpturally magnificent Romanesco
This is another one of those vegetables that is known by various names such as - Broccolo Romanesco, Cavolo Romanesco, Romanesco Cauliflower, Romanesco Broccoli and Fractal Broccoli - what they all share in common is that this is a member of the brassica family.
Not only is this a fractal it's also an example of a Fibonacci equation.
It's a fractal form because it's made up of a repeating pattern that is formed by smaller copies of the overall shape and this repetition continues to infinity.
Its spiral form is known as an equiangular spiral.
I thought I'd include a closer look at the individual florets, they are a clearer illustration of its fractal form.
Now before this becomes Weekend Maths Blogging I should actually cook something with this. Since this is an Italian vegetable and I wanted to keep the integrity of its form, I've opted for an Italian dish - a simple frittata studded with romanesco florets and flavoured with leeks and marinated fetta.
3 large eggs
1 leek, white only, cut in half and sliced finely
salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the larger florets in half and leave the smaller ones whole. Boil in lemon infused water for a minute, drain and set aside. Use a slice of lemon in the water to lock in that vivid green colour.
Lightly whisk the eggs with a little salt and freshly ground white pepper - set aside until ready to use.
Place a little oil and a knob of butter in a small frypan and when the butter has melted add the sliced leeks. Cook gently until the leeks have softened and have started to colour. Place the cooked leeks into a sieve to drain off the excess oil and butter.
Return the leeks to the pan along with a small knob of butter and when melted add most of the florets, positioning them evenly in the pan. Turn up the heat a little and add the eggs - sit the remaining florets on top of the frittata and then scatter small pieces of marinated fetta.
When you see the edge of the frittata has sealed, use a palette knife to lift the edge and tilt the pan to re-disperse the uncooked egg - this will give you lovely puffed edges to your frittata.
Lower the heat and cover the pan to give it a chance to cook through - if you think the underside is getting too brown, then place the pan under an overhead grill to set the top.
When the frittata has just set - remove from the heat and serve at once.
Notes on Romanesco - you can eat it raw, in fact that is one of its more traditional ways of eating it. It has a flavour similar to cauliflower and broccoli but without the chalky edge found in raw cauliflower. Though I would say that if you could eat the colour green, then it would taste like Romanesco.
This was available at the Slow Food Farmers' Market but this is the last of the grower's crop - it was a test planting this year but next year he will be planting a lot more.
Tagged with Weekend Herb Blogging