Romanesco broccoli is a cross between a cauliflower and broccoli. It is quite stunning with its spiky buds and lime green color, and milder than cauliflower with a slightly nutty flavor. It is delicious simply boiled and dressed with a lemon vinaigrette, but if you add a bit of mild, sweet pickled pepper it is even better. I love the pickled cheese peppers that we bottle in the fall. They are wonderful in salads or sandwiches, or served alongside Italian sausage. Recently I have been adding them to vegetable dishes such as this one, where the peppers shine. If you don’t have your own you can buy bottled pickled peppers, sweet or hot, in the grocery store.
Italian Romanesco Broccoli with Pickled Peppers
1 head Romanesco Broccoli, cut into florets
1/3 c. chopped pickled red peppers
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring a 4-quart pot full of water to the boil. Add a bit of salt to the water. Add Romanesco broccoli, cover and cook about 7 minutes until fork tender but not mushy. Drain. Place in a serving bowl. In a separate bowl combine all lemon vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour vinaigrette over broccoli and toss. Add chopped pickled peppers and toss. Taste then add salt and pepper if needed. Serves 4.