How to Grow Romanesco – A 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.