Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Victoria Cauliflower

At the farmer's market last weekend, a farmer was selling a vegetable labeled "Victoria Cauliflower." I'd never heard of it, so of course I bought it. Later, I looked it up, and found no information on it. So I'm not sure if it's something he named, or if it's a new variety.

On closer inspection, the Victoria Cauliflower looks an awful lot like Romaneso.

But the Romanesco I bought a few weeks ago from a different farmer was a deeper green, and it also was tinged with purple. But that could be from growing conditions, weather, or any number of reasons why two of the same variety of plant would turn out different.

Here, at the right, is the Victoria as it sat at the market.

Instead of chunking it up, I cut it in half through the core, then in quarters, and then into thin wedges.

I decided that it was too hot to cook anything on the stove, so I gave the Victoria a quick steam in the microwave to get it partially cooked. Then I sprinkled it with some kosher salt and drizzled it with some meyer lemon infused olive oil.

The Victoria rested while I got other things ready for dinner.

Then it met the grill. I cooked it just long enough for it to pick up some grill marks and smokey flavor, and served it right away. It was sweet, smokey, and tender.

While I'm still not sure if it was really a different vegetable than Romanesco, this was a little more tender than what I served a few weeks ago. I'll be looking for both of them again at the market to make a side-by-side comparison.

And for my parting shot, here are a couple close views of the pretty fractals: