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Miso Almond Romanesco

Everyone loves romanesco, the green fractal cauliflower that has been appearing more and more in stores and greenmarkets in the area over the past few years. It’s gorgeous, in a geeky sort of way, and very tasty, especially when you let it get a good pan sear during the cooking process.

Don’t let the green fool you into thinking this counts as a nutritious vegetable, though. It’s mostly starch, and the sweet sauce in this recipe doesn’t exactly help on the health front. It is, however, addictively delicious.

Eating fractals is fun!

In other news, I went down to North Carolina this past weekend. There, I bought a drop spindle and taught myself to handspin yarn. Here’s my first yarn, in progress and on the spindle. It’s a merino/silk blend, done with navajo 3-ply, with curly locks twisted in for the fun of it.

I also got my very first shooting lesson, with a friend’s air rifle in his backyard. I’m not particularly fond of guns, in theory, but I am fond of learning new skills. And as another friend put it, I’m now entirely prepared for the collapse of civilization. I can shoot, I can spin, I can cure meat, and I can litigate.

I’m fairly pleased with myself – I hit the black on my very first target.

On the plane, I was doodling, and I created this rough little map of the directions from my apartment to my favorite dim sum place. I need to get a better scan of it, but here it is for now. Ping’s Seafood makes the best har chow (long shrimp noodles) ever.

The directions are of limited value, though, because Dave and I are actually apartment-hunting right now. We’re supposed to hear back today about the first place we applied for, so please keep your fingers crossed for us.

Anyways, onto the delicious fractal recipe!

2008: Broiled Yellowtail with Grapefruit Salsa
2007: Malaysian Beef Curry with Thick Onion Sauce (Daging Nasi Kandar)

Miso Almond Romanesco
2 medium heads romanesco, about 1200 grams total
1/8 C white miso
1 tsp Korean anchovy sauce
1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes
1 tbsp Vietnamese caramel sauce
1/4 C sliced almonds
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 tbsp unsalted butter

Cut the romanesco into individual florets, cutting the larger florets in half. Discard the stem and leaves.

Stir together the miso, anchovy sauce, red pepper flakes, caramel, and 1/8 C water until smooth.

In a wok, heat 2 tbsp butter on high until it melts and sizzles. Add the romanesco and saute until browned all over. Let it sear a bit; that will only make it taste better. Stir in the water and garlic and simmer until the water is nearly gone. Stir in the almonds and cook a minute more. Stir in the sauce and serve.

With a typical home wok, it is best to do this in two batches so your romanesco actually sears instead of merely steaming when you cook it.

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15 Responses to “Miso Almond Romanesco”

  1. The green cauliflower looks so beautiful, you cooked it
    perfectly! I love the diverse use of Korean anchovy sauce
    and Viet caramel sauce. I can just imagine the flavors now,mmmm….

    And you are an amazing shot (great job!) and talented doodler!
    Wow, I would have to get a college degree to doodle like that!

    Good luck on your apt hunting. I’ll be thinking of you!

  2. ok, i definitely wouldn’t want to be withing shooting distance from you! i think that romanesco are some of the most beautiful veggies out there. we just used some of the purple ones as a pizza topper. i think this dish looks beautiful and i’m sick of worrying about the healthy factor all the time. i had so much post-holiday guilt that i’ve kicked up my exercise routine so i can stop feeling so freaking guilty.

  3. Erin says:

    What a wonderful sounding recipe!! I have been trying to cook more and more with Asian influences, and this recipe helps tremendously. I did, however want to point out that cauliflower is an extremely healthy vegetable, and is on the list of the Worlds Healthiest Foods at http://www.whfoods.com. So, please put aside the guilt and eat plenty of cauliflower! Thanks for the great recipe, Erin

  4. Lori says:

    I too have been wanting to learn how to shoot for the collapse of civilization. Oops did I say that out loud?

    That cauliflower looks amazing. I havent tried it yet. You have piqued my curiosity.

  5. Gabi says:

    You also know how to make jam, mead and vinegar to name a few things-
    so if civilization collapses I’m heading your way
    immediately ;)

  6. Kate says:

    I’ve never seen the green cauliflower around here, let alone trying
    it. Looks interesting, i love cauliflower, n maybe if i get my hands on some i’ll try this out .

  7. Barbara Rosenberg says:

    Ok, so I’m biased, but when I chuckle out loud I have to voice my appreciation for your cleverness, added to your amazing talents and capacity for learning. Oh, the food sounds great, too, I always wondered what to do with those adorable veggies.

  8. brilynn says:

    Very pretty indeed! I miss living in a place where
    finding something likes romanesco wasn’t impossible.

  9. Katy says:

    I love your pictures! I just stumbled across your blog but it
    is keeping me well entertained (and a great excuse for
    slacking on all of this reading for wills tomorrow). Thanks.

  10. Chez US says:

    I love these photos – especially the yarn! I started knitting
    a couple years ago & love beautiful yarns. As well I have
    been dying to try romanesco – I love how it looks and geeky is
    a great way to describe it. I will have to try this recipe
    out! Thanks for sharing it!

  11. sarah says:


  12. You are amazing! And these photos are beautiful,
    cant wait to try this romanesco. Hope you wont mind but I’d love to direct
    Foodista readers
    to your site, just add this little widget
    here and it’s all set to go, Thanks!

  13. Hey Danielle,

    I never know what they are called but you are right, I see them more
    nowadays at the market. I always think that they are the mixed-child
    of broccoli and cauliflower. I might have to try making it into
    a Chinese stir-fry. ;)

  14. Jaden says:

    Holy moley! you are a good shot!!!

  15. Amrita says:

    Oh, romanesco’s always been a quirky veggie and exotic in a way!
    Oh, btw, best of luck with your spinning!

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