Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (2024)

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This easy Romanesco broccoli recipe enhances the fractal design of this unique vegetable. The broccoli florets are showcased as the topping of a savory cupcake made with carrots, butter, and plenty of Parmesan cheese. The crispy, buttery, cheesy carrot dough perfectly combines with the unique flavor of this creamy, nutty roman cauliflower, but that is not all. Orange and chartreuse color, what a perfect combination! Those muffins have a beautiful pastel shade perfect for Easter MondayPicnic, St Patrick's day, or as miniature Christmas trees.

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (1)
Jump to:
  • Romanesco broccoli recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Instructions
  • Top tips
  • When to serve this romanesco recipe
  • Storage
  • Equipment
  • Substitution
  • More savory vegetable starters
  • 📋 Easy Romanesco Broccoli Recipe In Parmesan Muffin
  • Fractal shape
  • Health benefit
  • Fun facts

Romanesco broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, and it is also called broccoflower, but do not worry, it is not genetically engineered.

You can read more about it in this interesting article: A Brief History of Genetic Engineering

They are naturally bred and belong to the brassica family of vegetables.

Romanesco, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and turnips contain substances that may protect against cancer.

Not only is it beautiful to watch, but it is also delicious to eat.

It has a sweet, slightly nutty flavorand a firm consistency, making it perfect for soups.

Romanesco broccoli recipes

I grew up with this classic Roman vegetable.

My mother would use it in place of broccoli or cauliflower recipes.

For example, you can make a romanesco cauliflower pasta following the recipe for Cavatelli and broccoli.

As a winter comfort food, I make Romanesco soup and add pasta and sausages for a more consistent meal.

It is one of my family's favorite healthy recipes.

You can also serve it as a simple side dish just boiled and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, or sauteed with garlic and chilly pepper flakes.

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (3)

However, as I love to watch the intrinsic fractal design of this vegetable, I decided to create a recipe with Romanesco heads where its shape was preserved and enhanced.

When I was little, I used to make a savory carrot cake flan, so I decided to experiment with it to create savory muffins.

I used the gorgeous Romanesco floret to top the muffins replacing the usual icing.

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (4)

Ingredients

  • Broccoli romanesco: if you cannot find them in your local grocery store in the produce section, look for them at the farmers' markets during late fall
  • Large carrots
  • Flour
  • Butter at room temperature. Remove the butter from the fridge an hour before. Do not melt the butter; the butter should be soft, not liquid.
  • Fresh eggs
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: I always keep a batch of frozen cheese in my freezer. Here are my Secrets to Freezing Essential Ingredients to make fresh meals faster
  • Salt

See the recipe card for the quantity

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (5)

Instructions

Preparing the Romanesco

  1. Cut the florets of the Romanesco heads with a sharp knife, making sure you have some large ones to use over the cupcakes
  2. Boil them for 10 minutes in salted water
Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (6)
  1. Drain and blanch them by immersing them in icing water to preserve the nice green color.
Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (7)

Making the carrot muffins

  1. Clean the carrots and boil them for 20 minutes with a little salt
  2. Mash the carrots with a blender or a vegetable strainer and let them cool down completely

Hint: you can also mash with the carrots the smaller florets, although they will add a greenish color tone to the muffins

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (8)
  1. Whip the butter at room temperature until soft, then add the eggs
  2. Sift the flour with the baking powder and the salt and add to the mix
  3. Last, add the carrot mash and the cheese
Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (9)
  1. Distribute the carrot mix into the 12 muffin molds
  2. Top the muffins with the romanesco florets
  3. Bake for 35 minutes in a hot oven at 355 F - 180 C
  4. Arrange over a serving dish.
  5. This simple recipe can be served warm or at room temperature

Hint: if you have leftover florets, you can serve them cold seasoned with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon or sautéed in a pan with oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (10)

Top tips

  • If you cannot find romanesco, you can substitute with broccoli or cauliflowers
  • To maintain the bright green color of the Romanesco, immerge in iced water once you strain them from their boiling water
  • Remove the butter from the fridge an hour before. Do not melt the butter; the butter should be soft, not liquid.
  • Before you make the muffin mix, make sure the carrot mash is completely cold; otherwise, it will cook the egg
  • You can also mash with the carrots the smaller florets, although they will add a greenish color tone to the muffins
  • If you have leftover florets, you can serve them cold seasoned with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon or sautéed in a pan with oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (11)

When to serve this romanesco recipe

These savory cupcakes can be served for healthy dinners as an easy savory side dish with roasted meat, vegetarian meals, buffet parties, or picnics.

Because of their firm but soft consistency, these cupcakes can be eaten with a knife and fork on a plate or with your hands on a picnic or standing party.

They are nice warm or at room temperature.

They can also be served for healthy breakfasts or school lunches.

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (12)

Storage

Store those Romanesco cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

They can be frozen, but I never like to freeze vegetables if not strictly necessary.

Equipment

To make this recipe you need the following equipments:

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (13)

Substitution

If you cannot find the Romanesco broccoli, use the cauliflower or regular broccoli florets instead.

You can also substitute Parmesan cheese with Pecorino cheese or gruyere cheese.

If you want darker red colour muffins for a Christmas party, you can substitute the carrots with beetroots

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (14)

More savory vegetable starters

If you like this recipe and you would like to make a buffet with more vegetable starters, here are some ideas:

  • Wild asparagus flans
  • Ham Spread Terrine With Cognac
  • Baked frittata with wild mushrooms
  • Italian zucchini frittata
  • Fried zucchini flowers
  • Fried eggplants balls
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Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (16)

📋 Easy Romanesco Broccoli Recipe In Parmesan Muffin

This easy Romanesco broccoli recipe enhances the fractal design of this unique vegetable. The broccoli florets are showcased as the topping of a savory cupcake made with carrots, butter, and plenty of Parmesan cheese. The crispy, buttery, cheesy carrot dough perfectly combines with the unique flavor of this creamy, nutty roman cauliflower, but that is not all. Orange and chartre use color, what a perfect combination! Those muffins have a beautiful pastel shade perfect for Easter MondayPicnic, St Patrick's day, or as miniature Christmas trees.

Prep Time 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes minutes

⏲️Total Time 55 minutes minutes

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Print Rate Save

Author: Laura Tobin

Ingredients

  • 1 Romanesco cabbage you will need only half
  • 1 tablespoon salt to boil the romanesco in salted water
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup butter at room temperature
  • 4 fresh eggs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 tsp

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Instructions

Preparing the romanesco

  • Cut the florets of the romanesco making sure you have some large ones to use over the cupcakes

    1 Romanesco cabbage, 1 tablespoon salt

  • Boil them for 10 minutes in salted water

  • Drain them and blanch them by immersing them in icing water to preserve the nice green colour.

Making the carrot muffins

  • Clean the carrots and boil them for 20 minutes

    3 large carrots

  • Mash the carrots and let them cool down completely

  • Whip the butter until soft, then add the eggs

    ½ cup butter, 4 fresh eggs

  • Sift the flour with the baking powder and the salt and add to the mix

    1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • Last, add the carrot mash and the cheese

    ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Distribute the carrot mix into the 12 muffins moulds

  • Top the muffins with the romanesco florets

  • Bake for 35 minutes 355 F - 180 C

  • Arrange over a serving dish. They can be served warm or at room temperature

Video

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Notes

  • If you cannot find romanesco, you can substitute with broccoli or cauliflowers
  • To maintain the bright green color of the Romanesco, immerge in iced water once you strain them from their boiling water
  • Remove the butter from the fridge an hour before. Do not melt the butter; the butter should be soft, not liquid.
  • Before you make the muffin mix, make sure the carrot mash is completely cold; otherwise, it will cook the egg
  • You can also mash with the carrots the smaller florets, although they will add a greenish color tone to the muffins
  • If you have leftover florets, you can serve them cold seasoned with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon or sautéed in a pan with oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 892mg | Potassium: 93mg | Vitamin A: 2915IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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Fractal shape

Romanesco broccoli is a fascinating example of a naturally occurring fractal in nature. Fractals are complex patterns that repeat themselves at different scales, and Romanesco broccoli displays this characteristic in its unique and striking appearance.

The Romanesco broccoli has a self-similar pattern that repeats itself at different scales, creating a cone-shaped head composed of smaller conical shapes.

These conical shapes are made up of spiraling points, which are themselves composed of even smaller spiraling points, and so on, repeating the pattern at smaller and smaller scales.

The overall shape of the Romanesco broccoli is sometimes described as a fractal spiral or a logarithmic spiral, with each spiral appearing to be an identical copy of the larger spiral but on a smaller scale. The result is a visually stunning, intricate, beautiful, and mathematically intriguing shape.

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (18)

Health benefit

In addition to its striking appearance and delicious flavor, Romanesco broccoli also has several potential health benefits.

Like other cruciferous veggies, it contains antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein, which may help to protect against cancer and other chronic diseases.

Thanks to its high dietary fiber content, it may also support healthy digestion and gut function.

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (19)

Fun facts

The cultivation of Romanesco broccoli in Lazio has been documented in numerous historical texts dating back to ancient times. Romanesco broccoli, created by isolating local populations of cauliflower in the mid-1800s, has been a source of inspiration for various writings. In 1834, Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli called a greengrocer "Tozzetto" (torso del broccolo) because he cultivated and sold Romanesco broccoli. Historical records have been found in ancient farm booklets detailing the amount of Romanesco broccoli sold.

Easy Baked Romanesco Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan (2024)

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