Don't you just LOVE this cauliflower? I just wanted to photograph it all day long. Those crazy spiraling cones are so striking, truly a photographers dream!
An Italian treat usually only available in September through November, we were fortunate to find this beautiful organically grown (by Suzie's Farm) Romanesco Cauliflower here in San Diego at our local farmers market.
If you are not familiar, Romanesco has a slightly more delicate taste than the cauliflower that we are used to, and it has a slightly softer texture.
We were a bit unsure of what to actually DO with this cauliflower, there are very few recipes to be found. I found a few recipes for soup, but it seemed a waste to puree such a beautiful vegetable.
We also bought a lovely delicata squash at the farmers market, we thought the two might compliment each other. We had a few other favorite ingredients on hand that needed to be used.....read on for the recipe that we came up with!
Romanesco Cauliflower Pasta Salad (4 servings)
1/2 head of Romanesco cauliflower
1 medium delicata squash, roasted and cubed
2 cups pasta, cooked
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup green olives sliced
Fresh chopped basil
3-4 garlic cloves
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and roast the squash and the garlic, for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, turn the squash over and add the cauliflower and mushrooms to the pan, roast for an additional 10 minutes or until desired doneness.
While the veggies are roasting, prepare the pasta according to the al dente directions on package. Drain and set aside.
When veggies are done and cool enough to handle, chop the cauliflower and squash into bite sized cubes, discard the squash skin, and thinly slice the garlic.
In a large bowl, combine the squash, cauliflower and mushrooms, pasta and olives. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper, pepitas and fresh chopped basil. Serve warm with fresh grated Parmesan cheese, OR I discovered that this salad tastes just as good cold the next day!
The final product.....delizioso!
Note: All these flavors combined incredibly well, but don't be afraid to add or omit ingredients. Next time I might like some tomatoes, black olives instead of green, artichoke hearts, pine nuts........get creative!