BRAINS! Cooking is Creepy with Cauliflower and Romanesco

by October 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,357 0

Cooking with cauliflower can be creepy. (Chelsea Rinnig )

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT] 

Just in time for Halloween, the Cruciferous vegetables are coming to haunt the farmers markets. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts and, my favorite, romanesco, can be found throughout the markets and many will last through the colder temperatures. However, the fractal looking romanesco is perfectly creepy and weird and its sibling cauliflower quite resembles brain.

Traditional notions of the extreme health benefits of these vegetables are indeed correct–much research has been conducted that shows cruciferous vegetables are anti-inflammatory and detoxifying, as well as promote cardiovascular and digestive health. Counter that candy intake on the 31st with a healthy romanesco recipe and creep out your dinner guests with its weird shape, or substitute with cauliflower if you’re a bit tamer.

BONUS: With all the fresh, crisp eating apples at the market, make candy apples for dessert for Halloween.

Roasted Romanesco with Lemon-yogurt sauce

Serves 4


  • One medium sized romanesco bunch, cut into smaller florets*
  • One tbsp olive oil
  • One tbsp minced garlic
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • One cup chopped walnuts
  • Half cup gold raisins


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees – I save time by turning on the oven immediately and then chopping and prepping other vegetables while it heats up.
  2. Evenly arrange a layer of romanesco, garlic and walnuts in a large Pyrex baking dish.
  3. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and give it a stir or a gentle toss with your hands to coat evenly.
  4. Place on the top rack of the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until florets are lightly browned.
  5. Serve immediately with lemon-yogurt sauce over whole wheat cous cous or pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.

For the lemon-yogurt sauce

Whisk together the juice of half a lemon, one tbsp. cumin, a dash of cayenne pepper, and half a cup to a cup of probiotic plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (non-fat if you can!).

*Note: the stems are extremely healthy to eat, but can come out crunchy if not cooked long enough. Save and steam later or shave into thin, long pieces and pair with grated carrots for a healthy slaw.

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