Grilled Romanesco Cauliflower With Cashews

Some things in nature just make your jaw drop. For me, Romanesco cauliflower does this every time. Maybe it is memories of my mathematician grandfather explaining the geometric beauty of the perfect fractal florets spiraling into a hundred mirrored pyramids. Maybe it is because Romanesco is quite frankly the weirdest looking vegetable I've ever seen. Or maybe it is that despite its unusual looks, Romanesco is also a great tasting vegetable: a firm textured, sweet and earthy cross between cauliflower and broccoli. If you are lucky enough to get a hold of one of these green fractal beauties, our Grilled Romanesco Cauliflower with Cashews is a salty smoky side that shows off every gorgeous floret. We keep the dish simple to highlight the star ingredient, while adding a little smokey char, gently tossed with lemon, sage, salt and pepper and accompanied with some seasonal vegetables and nuts. A unique and delicious side salad to match this stunning vegetable.


Yield: Serves 2 as a starter or 4 as a side


  • 1 cup romanesco cauliflower, divided into florets
  • 6 slices zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 6 radish slices, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely minced


  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet with olive oil over high heat. When hot, add cashews and toast, stirring frequently for approximately 3-5 minutes until lightly browned (see photo above). Remove from heat and add salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Toss cauliflower, zucchini and radishes with oil, salt and pepper and half of the lemon juice.
  4. Grill vegetables on medium high heat until grill marks appear, approximately 2-3 minutes each side.  Put grilled vegetables back in mixing bowl, toss with remaining lemon juice and fresh sage leaves.
  5. Plate grilled vegetables with cashews and serve while still warm.