Whole Roasted Romanesco

Few things in nature are as weirdly beautiful as Romanesco. I think it looks like a prehistoric sea creature, or perhaps like a miniature gnome forest. When Wylie spotted some of this cauliflower cousin at the grocery store last week it blew his mind, so we took one home with us to try. Today I'm sharing our recipe for whole roasted Romanesco with lemon-thyme vinaigrette. I can't bear the thought of cutting it up so I just lay the whole thing onto a sheet pan and slow roast it with a heavy dose of olive oil and sea salt. It becomes so tender that the florets just tear off, leaving nature's design perfectly intact.  Full recipe below...

Whole Roasted Romanesco with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cut the back off the romanesco, rinse and air dry, laying it flat on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with several tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast for 25-30 minutes until very tender, and browned at tips.

Whisk the juice of one lemon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves.  Drizzle over the top of the roasted romanesco, and roast for another 5 minutes.  Pull away individual florets to serve.