Cauliflower Romanesco has striking pale lime-green heads with florets that form unusual turrets. For all its striking appearance it does taste very good – a slightly milder taste than cauliflower with the nuttiness of broccoli.
Cauliflower Romanesco can be eaten either cooked or raw (lime green florets look stunning as crudite) but it keeps its colour & texture better when steamed rather than boiled. Cauliflower Romanesco is listed by some as Broccoli Romanesco or Calabrese Romanesco.
It is a type of Brassica but there is some confusion as the Germans class it as cauliflower, the French as cabbage and the Italians as Broccoli. It is listed as Cauliflower by the RHS so we will go with them on this one. A fancy-looking but rather tasty pale lime-green veg – well worth sowing!
Catch crops can also be sown under cauliflowers to help increase the productivity of the patch such as radishes, lettuce or salad leaves. Or you could alternate your plantings with companion plants such as onions or garlic to confuse pests.
Sow in modules/cells 1cm deep & water carefully. Germination usually takes 7-10 days. When 7-10cm tall – usually 5-6 weeks after sowing, transplant out after ‘hardening off’ for 3-4 days. Space plants 60cm apart, in rows 60cm apart. Soil must be firm, so tread down soil well after planting. Seeds can also be sown outdoors in a well-prepared seedbed from April to May, and the seedlings transplanted to their final position 6 weeks later.
Keep well watered as water shortage can lead to cauliflowers bolting. Keep an eye out for pest such as slugs/snails, pigeons and diseases like clubroot.