Romanesco Caponata


This traditional Italian antipasto is generally made with eggplant but is much prettier with Romanesco broccoli.  You can eat this as a salad, or toss it with a chunky pasta like shells or rigatoni.

Remove the stems from 1 head of Romanesco Broccoli.  Cut the thick base off the head and then use a paring knife to cut the florets off the stem, starting from the outside and working your way in.

Clean and mince 1 leek.  Trim the leaves from 4 stalks of celery, then chop.

Heat 3 T. olive oil in a large cast iron skillet and saute the leek and celery with a dash of chile flakes for 5 minutes.

Add the romanesco to the pan and raise the heat.  Saute until the florets begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes.

Add 2 minced cloves of garlic and lower the heat.  Cook for another 2 minutes.

Open a 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes in juice.  Add all the juice to the pan.  Dice 2/3 of the tomatoes and add them as well.  When the tomatoes begin to bubble, lower the heat and let them simmer for 5 minutes.

Chop pitted green olives to make 3 T. Add to the pan along with 3 T. of capers and their juice, and 1 T. red wine vinegar.  Continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the romanesco is tender but not mushy.  Let sit for at least 1/2 an hour or overnight and add salt, pepper and more vinegar as you like.

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