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Romanesco leaves offer a distinct, nutty flavor that is sweet when young but can develop a sharper bite with maturity. They may be harvested periodically as the Romanesco head develops, or all at once at the end of the growing season. Prepare leaves just as any other hearty green such as kale, collards or cabbage.
Romanesco leaves are available in the spring and fall.
Romanesco is a cool weather crop botanically known as Brassica romanesco. Sometimes called Romanesco broccoli or Romanesco cauliflower in North America, the French call it Romanesco cabbage while the Italians refer to it as broccolo Romanesco. It is a close cousin of broccoli and cauliflower and grows in a similar manner with a central floret surrounded by broad leafy greens. The leaves are an underutilized culinary ingredient as they are usually trimmed away before packaging for the market.