Romanesco – How To Eat The Lady Gaga Of Veggies

Posted by: on Mar 16, 2014 | 14 Comments

Garlicky Whole Steamed Romanesco + a miracle! at

I’m just going to say this once (and then regret saying it). Ok, here it goes: never let me into a supermarket/grocery store/health food store/ market with your master card or money. Or you know, please do. No one would probably ever think of labeling me a shopaholic but I have to admit that when it comes to food I can go a bit crazy and find perfectly reasonable reasons (hello, one have to eat..) for spending a tad too many bucks on edibles. I have had a weird flair for grocery shopping ever since I fell in love with great food/nutrition/gardening some 6-ish years ago (is it really that long?!). I could honestly spend hour after hour strolling the aisles of a good store, reading labels, admiring great packaging design, finding new friends to take home (no, not human ones) and greeting the gorgeous beings hanging out in the vegetable/fruit section (not human either). I mean, would you be able to pass an organic Romanesco like this and hold back a ”Hello, Beautiful!” while being totally in awe.

The ironic part is that Fabian, me and Caspian live in the teenziest village on the Swedish south coast which means that we can’t just go for a stroll and find good quality organic produce of all sorts and variations. Finding food that meets our wishes takes a lot of planning especially during wintertime when the garden isn’t overflowing with gifts. It’s something I’m totally used to and fine with but imagine my surprise and delight when I visited our local mini supermarket a couple of weeks back and stepped straight into organic heaven(!) Ever since we moved here one year ago I’ve kept on lovingly suggesting they’d order some of the most basic organic stuff and so suddenly.. Right there in front of my eyes – cauliflower, cress, fresh ginger, beets in all variations, parsnips, carrots, passionfruit, kiwi, grapefruit, fresh turmeric, blood oranges, apples, salsify, mango, lime, leafy greens of all sorts, sweet potatoes, bananas and even Romanesco! I seriously felt like I was hallucinating but then I remembered I hadn’t sprinkled hemp seeds on my breakfast that morning, phew! This was obviously real life beautiful organic food some of which I’d have a truly hard time finding even if I’d go into Malmö and visit four different stores. I hugged the storeowner, she was all smiles and ever since I might have spent a little more on food then I regularly do. A day. Ahem.. But then again, someone has to support their bravery to stock up on organic produce in the middle of the winter in a village that sort of only lives during summertime. A perfectly reasonable reason to buy food, I’m telling you. Also, taking Caspian for a little walk only to let him get to know wonders like Romanesco is pretty priceless.

Ps. Only kidding, hemp seeds won’t get you high. If so, then only on sensational nutrients.

Garlicky Whole Steamed Romanesco + a miracle! at www.Earthsprout.comGarlicky Whole Steamed Romanesco + a miracle! at

Fun & Fabulous Facts

While spring sure is around the corner I still need warm hearty meals to keep grounded and well, warm. The steaming basket is probably the most used item in our kitchen these days and provides our bodies with cooked and nutrition-packed foods. By gently steaming the Romanesco you’ll keep as much as possible of the vitamins and minerals not loosing them to cooking water or a very hot oven. To preserve as much of the nutritional love of this amazing brassica as possible we could of course also break it into small bouquets and massage it (to make it easier on the digestive system) but let’s save that for summer, shall we? 

So what is it that’s so rocking about Romanesco, it’s obvious bold Lady Gaga-ness set aside? Well all Brassica vegetables (like turnip, broccoli, cauliflower, kale..) are recommended in general for cancer prevention. Then we have it’s amazingly high sulphur content which works as an antibiotic. Just like Broccoli, Romanesco has a remarkable Vitamin C content, supporting our immune system and meaning this darling is kind of great to incorporate in our meals during these sniffy months of winter/spring confusion. But honestly, I don’t need any of those reasons to enjoy and savor something that is  so remarkably sacred, sexy and show-stoppingly beautiful as a Romanesco. Thank you mama earth for showing off.

Garlicky Whole Steamed Romanesco + a miracle! at

Garlicky Whole Steamed Romanesco

It took me a while to find my preferred way of eating Romanesco. I wanted something that honored and accentuated the incredible beauty and natural flavor of the Romanesco. While rubbing this vegetable with the garlicky mixture you’ll not only enhance it’s flavor but you can also really get in there and enjoy it’s magnificence. I served it with steamy Quinoa packed with fresh herbs and some lightly toasted almonds. Simplicity rocks.

Garlicky Whole Steamed Romanesco
1 head Romanesco, quartered
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 organic lemon, the zest
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
1/2 nutritional yeast, optional

1. Add all ingredients for the garlicky rub in a small bowl, stir to combine with a spoon.
2. Rinse and quarter the Romanesco (save leaves and stem for stir fires, soups, juices, smoothies)
3. Rub the garlicky mixture all over the four pieces then place them gently in a steaming basket over boiling water and steam for 4-6 minutes. We want the Romanesco to still have some crispness to it and absolutely not be mushy.

Serving Suggestions
Fluffy cooked quinoa packed with fresh cilantro and parsley, some toasted almonds, a handful of sprouts + a drizzle of creamy tahini.

Garlicky Whole Steamed Romanesco + a miracle! at

One day, we just might find ourselves in the total epicenter of our version of heaven. Organic food, traveling the world, writing a book, building a house, embarking on a fabulous sprited adventure or learning how to make raw chocolate. What ever floats your boat (wanna share in the comments?) Dream it, move towards it, meet it…and LIVE it!



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  1. Marissa
    17 mars, 2014

    Elenore, I feel exactly like you do when I’m in the grocery store, especially the produce aisle. I never really liked mall shopping, but shopping for vibrant, seasonal, fresh, delicious food? I can totally get down with that!

    I must try this beautiful recipe. I’ve never had romanesco before, but I love my brassicas! Maybe I’ll stumble upon some like you did. ;)

  2. Jade
    19 mars, 2014

    ”The Lady Gaga of veggies,” only you, Elenore ;) Thank you for always bringing so much fun and freshness to this whole food cooking and tasting and experimenting thing. I remember the first time I saw this psychedelic wonder. I was completely in awe (and love). I couldn’t believe that nature produced such an artful masterpiece. And yesss I love this very simple, perfect combination of flavors. It would be a perfect way to cook any veggie, really. I’d like to buy some sea salt flakes, I’ve been wanting to try them for a while.
    And, ah, about ”the dream,” I loved Marie Forleo’s latest video/interview on this topic. Still putting mine together in my head/heart :)

  3. Ariela
    19 mars, 2014

    Oh, I am a practicing organic food shopaholic as well! This post is so lovely and I love the simplicity. My dreams too are peppered with visions of organic food, living simply off the land, and fulfilling life’s creative passions! That and plenty of travel to new places near and far to meet generous people and swap tales.

    Xoxo to you and your dreams Elenore!

  4. Michelle @LALLnutrition
    21 mars, 2014

    Haha I love you passion for food. I thought I was the only one who loved fondling vegetables ( I get sort of high of of it – no hemp seeds required!) AND yes I spend a lot of beautiful organic food too :)

    I truly believe as you envision something and move towards it, it becomes your reality. I’m in the process of creating my dream and also living in it – if that makes sense?

    As usual beautiful photos and lovely comparisons…love the Lady Gaga reference!


  5. Kathleen
    25 mars, 2014

    Love your descriptions! Great photos…makes me look at food like pieces of artwork. Thank you! Making this tonite!

  6. Dor
    25 mars, 2014

    Dearest Elenore, We have been shopping yesterday and when I looked at my basket, it was filled with all kinds of veggies and fruits! Barely was there anything else! For my one year old it is also a big pleasure to pack them out of one by one at home! He likes to examine all of these funny shaped creatures!
    One of my dreams will probably come true this year, as I managed to borrow a garden for this season, and can start to grow our own veggies outside in real soil! After some years of experiencing in balcony containers! I am really excited! it will be great going there and gardening, be outside and have fun together!
    All the best to You!

  7. Hannah
    31 mars, 2014

    Oh Elenore, I about lost it in giggles while reading the beginning of this post! Just yesterday my man and I were shopping for ”a few things” and I ended up filling our cart with beets with huge greens and berries and lemons and asparagus…I can’t help myself when it all looks so good! He gives me that ”look” and I have to just smile and shrug because we both know how wonderful and nourishing and worth every penny it all is. I definitely cannot be trusted to roam a market with someone else’s wallet.

    Cheers to Spring and the bounty it will bring to your garden!

  8. Melanie
    31 mars, 2014

    I thought I was the only one that adores shopping in heath food stores. I especially love it when I bump into new, exotic foods to pop into my cart. Oh Elenore, when I came across your site I was in love with your magnetic, greenylicious posts; they are so beautiful and inspiring and can’t help but feel so grateful for the miraculous and somewhat simple foods like romanesco.

    Keep up the great work!:)

  9. Tikvah
    1 april, 2014

    Yay! Green n go shoppers! Love all of you! One say I hope to meet with women like you all.
    The last 15 years exactly, I have been literally addicted for living life with live foods.
    Thanks for the posts! We need to all stay in contact!
    Hope for the future and today~

  10. Sally-Ann
    1 april, 2014

    Elenore…. you crack me up! Lady Gaga of vegetables had me in fits and giggles. Love your energy and Im so happy for you that your local shop now has so many organic choices for you. Its the same here on my little island… the amount of organic items I can now buy are huge to what was the case just three years ago. The demand is growing and its very exciting to see. Im planting out my kale seeds today… can’t wait as we still can’t buy kale here, but thats okay…. they’ll be here soon enough. :) x

  11. Millie
    1 april, 2014

    ”The Lady Gaga of veggies” I truly love that ….because it is! I love your recipe. I love to eat like that! Is l about going back to basics. … Like nature…it is becoming my favourite blog. I really look forward to it. And I totally identify with you on the overspending for edibles. My heart feels wit happiness when I look at the amazing products that nature, in its wisdom, provide for us. Thank you!

  12. pamela
    2 april, 2014

    thanks elenore! i haven’t been brave enough to purchase one of the romanesco heads…..but now i will! lovely recipe and can’t wait to give it a try! xoxo

  13. Sandie Hernandez
    3 april, 2014

    I’m one of those organic fresh good anything amazing shopaholics and well, so very happy about that! Steamed brassicas are delicious and Romanesco is so beautiful, a hard one to pass up indeed. There’s a lovely Italian dish called cavolfiore en ‘umido – literally steamed cauliflower and green olives drizzled with olive oil sea salt & pepper. Soooo good! Certainly not the show stopper Romanesco is, but divine nonetheless. Thanks Elenore for another gorgeous creation. The bounty of nature is a remarkable gift. Yay!

  14. Brittany
    27 maj, 2015

    My local organic market place just started selling Romanesco. I grabbed one quickly and made this meal. YUM! Thank you Elenore, this recipe is just divine.
    Nature is just so amazing.


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