Steamed Romanesco, with Mamma’s Famous Garlic Olive Oil Sauce

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You can substitute the olive oil in the sauce with melted ghee, for a buttery-garlic drizzle instead.

Tip: Try making homemade ghee. You’ll quickly fall in love! If you’re pinched for time, buy it online or at your local health food store.


  • Basmati rice – 1 cup (white or brown)
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon, fresh squeezed
  • Garlic – 1 teaspoon, finely minced
  • Sea salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Romanesco broccoli – 1 head
  • Freshly ground black pepper – A few turns of the pepper mill
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) – 1/4 cup, freshly grated


  1. Add the rice to a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer, covered. Cook the rice for 30-45 minutes (depending on your variety), or until it has fully absorbed the water without becoming mushy. Let the rice rest in the pot for 5 minutes before uncovering.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and sea salt. Set aside until ready to serve.
  3. Fill a pot with 1 inch of water. Place the romanesco directly in the pot or in a steaming basket. Cover the pot with a lid and steam for about 15 minutes, or until the romanesco has turned a softer shade of green and is fork-tender. Drain the water and hold the romanesco in the pot to keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. Serve the romanesco on top of a bed of rice, and drizzle with sauce (or allow each guest to add his or her own embellishment).
  5. Garnish with a few twists of freshly ground black pepper, and a scattering of grated Parmesan.