Romanesco

I bought one of these today…

Romanesco

Any ideas what I can do with it?!

It is a romanesco broccoli, although it looks and tastes more like a cauliflower. I have cooked one before, and mixed it with cauliflower for “cauliflower cheese”. But the cheese sauce smothered its beautiful appearance.

The first time I saw them on our market I was fascinated at the pattern, and today I remembered how I had looked it up then, and read about it being “self-similar”, almost a fractal. This means it is made up of many small parts each similar to its whole. It’s difficult to explain, but this is what the Merriam-Webster dictionary says:

SELF-SIMILARITY: the quality or state of having an appearance that is invariant upon being scaled larger or smaller

You can see in the picture (courtesy of Wikipedia) how the buds all contain smaller buds, which contain smaller buds, which contain smaller buds, which contain smaller buds, … etc! And this all happens within a spiralling form! You could zoom in forever (well, not quite) and see exactly the same pattern.

Isn’t it amazing what nature can come up with…