|from plot, to plate, to mouth - in minutes|
|after harvesting the large head, romanesco plants will often send out tasty little side shoots.|
|my romanesco seedlings for a winter crop, getting a head start indoors|
|which does, this|
one word of advice for growing brassicas in your garden is to keep an eye on their leaves. if you start seeing holes forming on the leaves you most likely have a catepillar problem. catepillars are baby butterflies or moths that love to munch away at the tasty leaves of our brocollis and cabbages. to keep this in check, every few days in midsummer, check under the leaves and pick off any live catepillars or - before it gets this far - try and find the little yellow egg clusters and squish them off the leaves. it sounds cruel to kill off butterflies before they are born, but unless you want to see your plants become sad skeletons before your eyes, you'll be happy you did the dirty work. another, less time consuming way, to fend off butterfly larvae is to buy bird netting and drape it over your crop. this also helps against bird attacks, im not especially fond of the look of it in my garden, if i was planting a field of brassicas i would go this route. but i prefer to let my brassicas live out in the open.
Pasta aglio, oilio, peperoncino e romanesco
this is a great recipe to have on hand for a quick snack or light meal, feel free to experiment with different vegtables. i used irregularly cut pasta for texture and interest, this can also be changed to whatever you have on hand. if you've never tried making your pasta a home, its worth giving it a go, especially if you have a pasta machine collecting dust somewhere. its 100 times better than dried store bought pasta. the hardest part is kneading the dough! a basic recipe is 100g flour ('00' is best) to one egg and a pinch of sea salt, but i found an interesting recipe for a flavoured pasta dough with parsley and calendula petals, here. if you try it let me know!
2 handfuls pasta of choice: spaghetti, linguini. fettucini are good
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems chopped fine and leaves coarsely chopped
1 large head romanesco (or 2 small heads), cut into florets
salt and pepper to taste
- bring pot of salted water to boil
- while water comes to boil place a medium sized saute pan on medium heat, add olive oil
- when oil becomes hot add the garlic, chilli flakes, and parsely stems, stir until garlic begins to brown
- add romanesco florets and salt and pepper to pan and saute for 2 minutes, until tender but still a little crunchy.
- add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente, (if romanesco cooks before the pasta is done remove from heat while the pasta cooks)
- add rest of flat leaf parsley to saute pan
- using tongs add pasta directly from pot of water to the saute pan - the wet pasta helps make a lovely sauce
- portion onto serving plates and finely grate parmesean over top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil