My family loves cauliflower, the "it" vegetable of the moment – if you believe in things like "it" vegetables.
So, now what's this about a broccoflower? It's the "it" vegetable's more colorful cousin.
Either one gives a dish a bit of a wow factor – and who doesn't love a vegetable that starts a conversation?
Broccoli and cauliflower are also cousins, both members of the cruciferous family, and therefore can naturally cross-pollinate, which has resulted in these two attractive and delicious broccoflower varieties.
All broccoflower can be cooked or eaten raw, and has a slightly sweeter and less bitter taste than either regular cauliflower or broccoli. Either variety can be cooked the same way as broccoli and cauliflower – steamed, boiled, roasted, sauteed – and so can be substituted in pretty much any recipes that calls for either one.
And of course that means that if you have cauliflower or broccoli on hand, you can use them in this recipe, an unusual roasted vegetable combo that makes a terrific side for any autumnal dinner.
But the conversation then might be less lively.
Roasted Broccoflower and Shitake Mushrooms with Rosemary and Garlic
Start to finish: 45 minutes
1 head broccoflower, cut into 1-inch florets
8 ounces shiitake or other type of mushrooms, wiped, stemmed and halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 medium sprigs rosemary, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly spray with nonstick spray (or lightly oil the foil). Distribute the broccoflower and shiitake mushrooms on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil. Add the garlic and rosemary sprigs, and sprinkle with the 1 teaspoon salt. Use your hands to combine everything well, then spread the vegetables back over the baking sheet so they are in a single layer. Roast for about 25 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender, and lightly browned in spots.
While the mixture is in the oven, in a small bowl or container mix together the maple syrup, lemon juice and vinegar.
Remove the rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves from the cooked vegetables and sprinkle the maple syrup mixture over the vegetables; toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Spoon the vegetables into a serving dish and serve hot or warm.
• Nutrition information per serving: 80 calories; 6 calories from fat; 1 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 516 mg sodium; 17 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 5 g protein
Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, "Dinner Solved!" and "The Mom 100 Cookbook." She blogs at http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman. She can be reached at Katie@themom100.com.