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Broccoli Romanesco and Parmesan Puree

Broccoli Romanesco, which looks like a cross between broccoli and a coral reef, is a staple in Italy, but it's often available at farmers' markets in the United States. This garlicky puree can also be made with regular broccoli or cauliflower.

  • Servings: 8
Broccoli Romanesco and Parmesan Puree

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2007


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds broccoli Romanesco (2 to 3 heads; see the Guide), cut into 3/4-inch pieces (7 cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli Romanesco and garlic, and cook until brightly colored and beginning to turn golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove and reserve a few pieces for garnish. Add water and 1 teaspoon salt to skillet. Cover, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid from skillet.

  2. Puree half the broccoli Romanesco in a food processor, and then transfer to a large bowl. Puree remaining broccoli Romanesco. Bring milk and cream to a gentle simmer in a saucepan. Add milk-cream mixture to food processor with puree, and pulse to combine. Stir mixture into first batch of puree.

  3. Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano, and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with reserved broccoli Romanesco and more cheese. Serve immediately.

Reviews (1)

  • nteasdale 28 May, 2008

    Just make sure to add just enough of the cream/milk mixture in your broccoli. I made the mistake of adding the whole cup in one shot, and the end result looked more like soup than puree. Must depend on how much water the Romanesco broccoli retained during cooking.

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