It’s not plain old cauliflower at all!

Come look! Remember a while back I posted a picture of my dreamy cauliflower? Well, look how its coming along.
Look, it's not cauliflower!
Its Romanesco Broccoli! Pretty isn’t it? We were expecting just regular old cauliflower, so this was a nice surprise.

We did a little research as to if you can eat the leaves of cauliflower and broccoli and you can. You can eat the stems (the stems are our favorite parts actually) and leaves, but as the plant matures you will want to peel the stems of their heavy outer coating. And may want to think twice about eating the leaves. When they are young the leaves are tender and good for eating, but as the plant matures they can get rather bitter, tough and not so tasty. Good to know!


Filed under State of the Garden

18 responses to “It’s not plain old cauliflower at all!

  1. sinfonian2

    I thought the leaves of the cauliflower plant were to be tied around the head to keep the sun off it to blanch it white? If you eat the leaves then how does it get nutrients from the sun or keep the sun off the head? Just curious. I’ve got cauliflower leaves growing right now and hope to have a head soon.

    • I avoided growing cauliflower because I didn’t want to bother with all that tying, etc. Last year I discovered that that is no longer required for a lot of varieties.
      I grew Cheddar Cauliflower this spring and I picked it first, and later I picked the long leaves next to it. Great in stir fry and an Asian soup (recipe on my blog). I have left the huge tough leaves intact as well as the root in hopes of getting more leaves. We shall see.

      • asonomagarden

        Good to hear that you had success with your cabbage (and leaves) Patricia. We’ll have to give the Cheddar a try.

  2. asonomagarden

    Your right. Cauliflower leaves are supposed to be tied to keep the head white. Honestly, I don’t know if we should do that with this variety. All the pictures I’ve seen of the romanesco do have color. And I can’t find much growing literature on them. Anyhow, it would be pretty difficult to eat their leaves if they are tied up, wouldn’t it? Better to try eating the broccoli leaves.

  3. That’s a romanesco for sure! I grew some last fall. They were delicious and we did eat the leaves, even when they were mature. Just cooked them up in some broth and Thai Chile sauce (I put that one everything!). They were great. Romanescos are so so beautiful. My kids call them Christmas tree broccoli and eat it by the handful.

  4. Looks beautiful! I hope our’s look as good. I came home today after our visit and checked on our cauliflower but nothing yet? We’ll just have to wait. But, I found our first 2 zuchs from the plant you and Scott gave to us- so i can’t wait to dig into those!

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  6. Ali

    I have one little surviving romanesco broccoli seedling waiting for warmer weather and spring, I may have to plant some more- yours is gorgeous!

  7. Bill Branch

    I am soooo envious!!! I ordered my seeds late August and started a indoor system to grow them soon after they arrived. But after 3+ months of watching the little guys grow I find that I was sent the wrong broccoli seeds. The heads look nothing like what I have been looking for for 3+ months!!! AArrrgg…

    What do your seeds look like? The ones I have are tiny tiny little dark balls. Where did you get your seeds? Anyone?

    I would even oder-night a head of this broccoli if I knew where to find it….


    • asonomagarden

      Hi Bill, I wish I could tell you where we got these seeds, but instead we bought these as plants instead. However the seed catalogs are coming in like gangbusters these days so I’m sure that you’ll be able to find some. (We’ll be looking for it too). Thank you for the comment.

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  10. jim henderson

    You don’t have to tie the leaves up. Just cut a leaf from the bottom row of plant and place it over the head. Tuck the leaf edges around the head.

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  12. Marisa

    Hello, what happens if the sun shines on the cauliflower heads? I bought some cauliflowers the other day and in all of them, part of the head had a purplish colour rather than white. Is that because of the sun or for another reason? Thanks.

  13. Gnome

    My romanesco are coming along beautifully! I don’t bother tying the leaves, the leaves seem to mostly cover the cauliflower center all on their own.

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