Steamed Whole Romanesco with Pine Nuts and Peppercorns

Preparation info

  • Serves


    Appears in

    Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

    By Elizabeth Schneider

    Published 2001

    • About

    Romanesco’s startling chartreuse turrets fade, when cooked, to a more respectable willow green. Too beautiful to deconstruct, this elegant head is best left whole for presentation. Quiet adornments keep the vegetable as star. If green peppercorns are not in your pantry, crushed pink ones (not true peppercorns, but so-called) add a sweet dimension; or fine-ground white pepper lends heat. Broccoflower can be substituted, but the dish will be less distinctive.


    • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
    • 1 head broccoli Romanesco (1 to 1½ pounds)
    • Salt
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • ½ to 1 teaspoon freeze-dried green peppercorns


      1. Toast nuts in preheated 325°F oven until golden, about 8 minutes; set aside to cool. Turn oven to lowest setting and warm a serving dish.
      2. Trim heavy stem base and leaves from Romanesco. Set stem end down in heavy pot in ¾-inch boiling salted water. Cover tightly and cook over moderate heat until tender throughout, 7 to 8 minutes. Salt sparingly.
      3. Meanwhile, in small skillet, heat butter with peppercorns over low heat until liquid turns pale golden.
      4. Set Romanesco in dish; pour over peppercorn butter. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve hot.