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 ½ pounds broccoli Romanesco (2 to 3 heads), cut into ¾-inch pieces (7 cups)

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water

  • Coarse salt

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • ½ 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.

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