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