Plump Beauties

April 29, 2012

Sweet spring days…

of broccoflower and purple cauliflower..

Purple Cauliflower in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

What to do with these plump beauties? (Get them from your venditore ambulente, itinerant peddler, or check Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s).

Cut off the cute flowerets and steam until just tender. Beware of overcooking to mush. Ugh.

Sauté chopped garlic and red pepper flakes in hot olive oil. Add the flowerets and sauté briefly. Salt. Pepper. Mash in an anchovy or two if you like (it adds flavor and won’t taste fishy). Toss together with al dente pasta and a bit of the hot pasta water. Top with grated Pecorino, Parmesan, or Grana Padano.

Dish out. Gobble up. Lick your lips. Kiss your fingertips. Drain your wine glass.  Nap.

Broccolini in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Broccoflower, broccolo romanesco, cavolo broccolo romanesco, Romanesco broccoli--or whatever you choose to call it--is sweet & nutty & wonderful.

Purple Cauliflower in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Purple cauliflower lowers your risk for cancer and diabetes!

Click to subscribe to BaroqueSicily.

28 comments to Plump Beauties

  • Callie

    THANK YOU for mentioning the anchovies!! Whenever I make tomato sauce for pasta and feed it to guests I always add one or two anchovies. Everyone just loves it – everyone wants to know the secret…until I tell them!!! Ewwww, they say…cracks me up! My next door neighbor in Sicily is the one who told me the secret about anchovies – a little is good, too much is like you stuck a dirty foot in the sauce! hehehehehe

    • Jann

      Ha ha, Callie–that’s a really good tip not to use TOO many anchovies–just a touch really delivers great flavor. I’m starting to love anchovies all by themselves, or on toast. I don’t know why in the US they are so reviled!!! (They’re full of that fish oil that is SOOO good for you.)

  • Anitre

    Love the suggestions on cooking the veg. I’ll try adding the anchovies. Grazie, Jann!

  • sandee wheeler

    I, too, have never seen purple cauliflower! Does it taste the same? Also, a beautiful man is holding the cauliflower!

    • Jann

      Sandee–the taste is pretty much the same as white cauliflower. Glad you like the bearer of the cauliflower as well.

  • Aida

    Beautiful colors, would make a nice table arrangement, your so lucky to be in the land of simple great food….you would have
    To go to ” whole foods” to find these gems….. BELISSIMO

  • I LOVE the tip about throwing in anchovies. That would really give it a nice kick!

    • Jann

      Barbara–a couple anchovies or sardines are also great in a tomato-sauced pasta. Thanks for commenting!

  • Charlie

    when I saw the headline Jann, was expecting to see photos of heavyset folks…ha ha…nice surprise to see those beautiful veggies. So, what inspired you to take the leap and move to Sicily from the US? Do you explain that anywhere on your blog?

  • Dish out. Gobble up. Lick your lips. Kiss your fingertips. Drain your wine glass. Nap.*** Lovely.

    I sooooo adore the purple colour! With Butter, of course <3 Xxxx

    hope you are well, sweet Jann.

  • Too bad these colourful versions weren’t around when my grandmother was alive. One of her favourite suppers to cook up was cauliflower, white fish, and boiled potatoes. If it was served on a white plate we couldn’t find the food.

    • Jann

      That’s so funny, Lynne. Once in a while I serve up meals like that too–where the entire meal is orange, for example (pumpkin soup, salmon, sweet potatoes). Though I have no orange plates, so the food’s not hidden.


    Very clever! You drew me in expecting to see some plump beauties and what did I see? some plump Beauties!!!

  • That looks amazing! Can’t wait to return to Rome in a couple of weeks. I’ve never been in May before, so I’ll get to experience all new food stuffs. I’ll use your suggestion for preparing them. As always, beautiful composition for the photos. Thanks.

    • Jann

      Rosann, how terrific that you’re going back to Roma! You’ll find lots of goodies in the markets in May, including fava beans, radicchio, and skinny wild asparagus. Buon viaggio!

  • John Schinina

    Ciao Jann, I’m hungry

  • Sam

    Those broccoflowers in the 2nd photo look extraterrestrial!

  • So delicious and so good for you….Gorgeous colours and beautiful photos Jann. I love the guys selling fresh produce like this off the back of their little trucks with all the women of the village swarming around. Your recipe is a lot like mine. Even the little one loves her broccoli – as long as pasta is part of the deal! Jxxx

  • Jann, what beauties! This is the first time I’ve seen purple cauliflower! Would you believe it? My mother uses the same seasoning method you mention when we make cauliflower in Spain and it’s delicious! I’m walking away from your blog feeling more knowledgeable! Thank you! 🙂

    • Jann

      Bella, how nice to know that your mom has a similar recipe. This one’s very popular in Italy, at least from Rome on down. xxxxxxx

Site Meter - La directory italiana dei blog