This Roasted Romanesco Recipe Brings the Overlooked Veggie to Life

When you can't eat one more head of cauliflower, turn to this roasted romanesco recipe to create a hearty side dish or plant-based main.

Roasted Romanesco with Pistachios and Fried-Caper Vinaigrette
Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Whenever you're craving a wholesome roasted veggie, you probably grab a head of cauliflower or chop up a few potatoes, carrots, and parsnips without a second thought. And while those vegetables get the job done just fine, your tastebuds could probably use a bit of excitement.

That's where this roasted romanesco recipe comes in. Romanesco is part of the brassica family (along with cauliflower, cabbage, and kale) and offers a slightly nutty flavor and satisfying crunch. In addition to that tantalizing texture and taste, romanesco is packed with nutrients, including vitamin K (which supports bone health) and vitamin C (which strengthens the immune system). Really, there's no reason *not* to whip one up for dinner.

And one of the easiest, most delicious ways to do that is by roasting the vegetable whole. "Heads of cauliflower, broccoli, and romanesco are indulgent and beautiful when they're roasted whole," says chef Eden Grinshpan, the author of Eating Out Loud (Buy It, $22, and the host of Top Chef Canada. "They're fun to serve, too. Place the head on the table with a knife, along with toppings, and let everyone dig in." (

Ready to give the overlooked veggie a shot? Try this roasted romanesco recipe, which is paired with a salty, tangy, and nutty vinaigrette to create a dish you won't forget.

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Roasted Romanesco with Pistachios and Fried-Caper Vinaigrette

Serves: 4 as a side or 2 as a main

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes


  • 1 large head romanesco, halved through the core
  • 5 tablespoons. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped, for serving
  • Grated lemon zest, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Gently submerge the romanesco halves in the water (you want them to keep their shape), cover, and boil for 5 min.
  3. Carefully transfer the romanesco to a plate or a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and let it air-dry until the steam has dissipated, about 20 min. Don't skimp on this step; still-steamy and damp romanesco won't crisp in the oven.
  4. Place the romanesco on a baking sheet, cut sides down. Drizzle all over with 2 tablespoons oil, and season well with salt. Roast until the cut sides are golden, 15 to 20 min. Flip, and roast until romanesco is golden all over and even a little charred in places, 15 to 20 min. more. You'll know it's done when you can easily slide a knife through the middle. Set aside.
  5. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the capers, and cook until they're light golden and crisp, about 3 min. They will open up a bit and look like flowers. Set aside, and let capers cool.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Slowly stream in the capers and oil from the pan as you continue whisking. Season with salt to taste, and fold in the dill.
  7. Transfer the romanesco to a serving plate. Pour the vinaigrette over the romanesco, and garnish with dill, pistachios, and lemon zest.
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