How to Grow Romanesco - A Brief Guide to Growing Romanesco
Romanesco has aspects of both calabrese and cauliflower; it dates from 500 years ago in Italy and was originally called Romanesco broccoli. Sometimes it is also called broccoflower – but this name is used more widely to describe all green-coloured cauliflower varieties.
It has unusual spiral, lime-green florets with a crisp texture and distinctive flavour.
Recommended Varieties of Romanesco
It is frequently found in the Cauliflower section of the seed catalogues, but might equally be placed in the broccoli or calabrese sections
Varieties include Veronica, Natalino, and Gitano.
Romanesco Pests and Problems
Liable to attack by all of the brassica pests and diseases (e.g. cabbage root fly, flea beetle, cabbage white butterflies / caterpillars, club root)
Sowing & Growing Romanesco
Sow in April-July, although May is ideal
Sow into modules and pot on rapidly to avoid the plant becoming pot-bound
When planting out, space at 60 cm intervals in each direction; they are large plants, and will benefit from this wider spacing if possible
Follow the usual cultivation advice for brassicas
Like cauliflowers, it can be tricky to grow but the taste is worth the effort
Harvesting, Eating & Storing
When the head is mature, you can either harvest it whole, or take smaller florets off in stages
It can be eaten raw or stir fried (small stalks), or steamed (boiling tends to lead to it losing its crispness and taste).
It can be substituted for cauliflower e.g. in cauliflower cheese, or simply eaten individually with melted butter