Whole-Roasted Romanesco with Spicy Mint Sauce (vegan, gf)


Well, this is probably one of my favorites. Romanesco is roasted intact with a thick, spicy mint-cilantro chutney and served in slices. The mint chutney crust layered atop the lime-green Romanesco makes for a vivid presentation. It’s a great meal for a dinner party – you can make the sauce ahead and marinate the romanesco in it up to a day ahead. Or you can blend up the sauce right away and stick it in the oven for the fanciest lunch ever, like I did.

I was inspired to make this by one of my favorite whole foodies, My New Roots. Although whole-roasted cauliflower is a popular Indian dish, I had never seen it before her Whole-Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower. And woah – I could only think of roasting Romanesco and keeping those gorgeous fractal spirals intact to serve whole. The insides get steamed and the thick coconut sauce coating gets a nice crunchy crust. The mint chutney on the side of My New Root’s Tandoori Cauliflower makes up the main focus of this very green dish. 


This is the second installment in my How to Cook Romanesco series! Check back Thursday night for an easy sautéed Romanesco recipe, and the previous post for more info on Romanesco. 

Whole-Roasted Romanesco with Spicy Mint Sauce
  1. 1 large romanesco (or two small)
  2. 2 tablespoons tables salt
  3. 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
Mint Chutney Sauce
  1. 3 cloves garlic, crushed and then minced very fine
  2. 1 1-inch chunk of ginger, minced very fine
  3. 1/4 chunk of onion
  4. 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  5. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  6. Generous 1/2 cup coconut cream*
  7. 1 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  8. 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  9. 1 jalapeño or green chili, seeded and chopped
  10. 1/2 red chili, seeded and chopped
  11. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  1. Cilantro leaves
  2. Toasted Coconut
Serve with
  1. Nondairy sour cream (like Tofutti) or coconut milk yogurt
  1. Wash the romanesco and remove leaves. Cut off the stem up to the beginning of the florets so that it will sit flat.
  2. Combine the table salt, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, bay leaf and red pepper flakes in a pot with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil. Carefully put in the romanesco and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, turning occasionally, until the romanesco is tender in the middle and when a knife inserts easily - 10-20 minutes depending on size. Remove from the liquid and let drain.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  4. Place the romanesco in a rimmed pan and cover with the marinade (be sure to cover the bottom as well). Let marinate, refrigerated, for one hour or up to one day.**
  5. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Roast until browned, rotating the pan once, about 35 minutes.
  6. Garnish with toasted coconut and cilantro leaves and serve with a side of nondairy sour cream or cashew cream.
  1. *Coconut cream is the creamier, thicker part of coconut milk in a can. Refrigerate the canned coconut milk for 12 hours and then you will be able to scoop off the creamy, thick part on top and leave behind the coconut water. Trader Joe's also sells a can of pure coconut cream. In any case, if you want to make this right away, just use the coconut milk as is.
  2. **Heck, if you're hungry, just roast it right away.
Adapted from "Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Whipped Goat Cheese" in Bon Appetit; "Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Mint Chutney" from My New Roots; "Pudina Chutney" from Veg Recipes of India
Adapted from "Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Whipped Goat Cheese" in Bon Appetit; "Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Mint Chutney" from My New Roots; "Pudina Chutney" from Veg Recipes of India
chel rabbit http://chelrabbit.com/

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