Romanesco broccoli has got to be one of the coolest vegetables ever. It's shape resembles a fractal with each bud a confluence of smaller buds arranged in a logarithmic way. It originated in Italy and can be used interchangeably with regular broccoli though its taste is a bit more muted. I tried to grow some this year and the initial bud was perfectly formed but I just don't get enough sun to sustain the growth of an entire plant. Sigh. But, our farmers markets always have it this time of year, and I think it's both beautiful and a pleasure to eat.
Tonight, I decided to let go of one of my gorgeous heirloom pumpkins and turn it into a soup pot, serving tureen and meal all in one. Into this cleaned out gourd went the romanesco broccoli, a leek, some Gruyère, vegetable stock, salt, pepper, cream and thyme. I put the top back on and the whole thing is roasting away in the oven now. Pretty, huh?