13 Mar 2011

The forgiveness of nature

This is what lures me back to the garden:  despite a lack of motivation/time to tend to the veg patch over the winter months, I recently discovered that I've nevertheless been rewarded by a small crop of extremely beautiful, small and tasty Romanesco cauliflowers.  The semi-neglected plants had persevered to produce perfect and stunning little fractal florets, very pleasing to the eye and extremely pleasing to the palate when steamed and served with a light and creamy cheese sauce*.  I felt almost mean cutting them down and eating them after so much effort (on their part) through cold winter months but, given the delicious flavour, will definitely be growing them again.  (Particularly as they practically grow themselves.)

A quick search online tells me that because they're part of the Brassica family, they're known in France as a cabbage (chou), in Germany as Pyramid Cauliflowers and in Italy as broccolo Romanesco (broccoli).  Thereby demonstrating the diversity of the species Brassica oleracea L.  Where would I be without Google?
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* I usually make my cheese sauce by adding a variety of cheeses to a basic Bechamel (white) sauce: a farmhouse cheddar, perhaps some Gruyere or Pecorino but this time I used cheddar with a little bit of Fortnum's Stilton which goes very nicely when teamed with cauliflower or broccoli.


  1. They really DO look beautiful - and glad to hear the taste matched the looks. Quite inspired to consider growing them... are they as self-sufficient as you say they are? That is always a help!
    on The Church Lane Plot

  2. Caro @ Urban Veg Patch17 March 2011 at 09:39

    Hi Stephen, Thanks for your comment. You've inspired me to write another post with more detail about how I grew them. Amazingly, quite a few people have been interested in these, having never grown them themselves. I think they're easier than 'normal' caulis to grow!

  3. I love the look of those cauli's and your cheese sauce sounds interesting, I think I will try using more than one cheese variety next time I make some.


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