Grocery Great: Broccolo Romanesco vs. Broccoli

In this week’s Grocery Great, guest writer ForXx schools us on the difference between broccolo romanesco and broccoli.


Romanesco broccolo was first documented in Italy in the 16th century. It’s sometimes called broccoflower. While it looks like something from out of space, the taste and benefits are also out of this world. Some benefits include support of red blood cells and vision, and reduction in depression and constipation. The veggie is rich in B vitamins from B1 to B9, vitamins C, K, potassium and many more. When steamed with a little butter and sea salt, it has the texture and flavor of a green cauliflower. I complemented it with a baked chicken breast glazed with agave until it caramelized. At Whole Foods, this organic green beauty sells for $2.99/pound.broccoli


Broccoli as we know it was actually man-made. It was bred out of the wild kale plant by carefully selecting desired traits, like keeping the big buds, while discarding those they didn’t want. By continuing to do this, a new kind of plant altogether was created: a broccoli plant. That’s also true of cauliflower, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts and even the yummy form of cabbage you buy at the store. They are all bred out of wild kale and didn’t occur in nature beforehand. Broccoli has high amounts of potassium with magnesium, calcium and vitamin C. Thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains, it can repair skin from sun damage. I combined the broccoli and broccoli romanesco, creating a super veg, pureed them and served it with lamb, mint jelly and warm Hawaiian rolls. Yum! Broccoli sells for $2.49/pound.

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