Broccoflower may look like green cauliflower but it is actually a natural cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It is slightly sweeter, milder and more tender than cauliflower, with the green colour from broccoli. Originally introduced in the 1980s, broccoflower is only now becoming a more common sight in our grocery stores.
How to Select
Choose a broccoflower that has tightly compact florets with crisp, green leaves. Avoid any with any bruises, brown spots, or soft spots.
How to Store
Store broccoflower tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to 5 days. Avoid washing until right before using.
How to Prepare
Wash broccoflower well, both on the surface as well as underneath by the stem and “branches”. To cut, much like cauliflower, separate the florets from the stem rather from the top of the floret. You’ll have less of a mess and you’ll be able to eat as much of the vegetable without cutting off any pieces.
Try to cut them into uniform pieces for a more even cooking time and result.
Just like broccoli or cauliflower, you can enjoy broccoflower raw. To cook, you can blanch, steam, roast, or even grill broccoflower. Each method will yield a slightly sweeter flavour than raw, and roasting or grilling will add a unique dimension of flavour! Try it many ways to find out your favourite.
How to Freeze
To freeze broccoflower, first cut it into florets, then blanch them in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain, and immediately submerge in an ice bath to halt the cooking process.
Spread out on a baking sheet to flash freeze, then transfer to an airtight bag or container. Use within 1 year.
Broccoflower actually refers to two different vegetables that are very similar. One variety of broccoflower looks more like cauliflower but has a green hue to it. The other variety, actually called Romanesco broccoli, looks a little more unique in that the florets have a spiked, fractal pattern to it, unlike the more rounded cauliflower florets. Both are a similar to cauliflower in taste and texture, but slightly milder and sweeter in flavour —similar to the taste of broccoli.
- For any recipe that asks for cauliflower, you can replace with broccoflower! Be prepared for a bit of a greenish hue for any recipes that depend on cauliflower’s white colour.
- Cut from the stem rather from the top of the florets to retain as much of the floret as possible. This also makes for an easier clean up!
- Ensure you wash broccoflower just before you’re about to prepare it. The broccoflower will last longer if you keep it wrapped in its original store packaging.
- Raw broccoflower tastes more like cauliflower, but cooked it has a hint of sweetness that’s more like broccoli. Adjust your recipe to better enjoy those flavours!
Goes well with
Broccoflower has a similar taste profile to cauliflower, so don’t be afraid to swap cauliflower out for broccoflower.
Produce: broccoli, carrots, lemons, lime, spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, garlic, capers, lemon, potatoes, and peas
Herbs, Spices, and Sauces: curry powder, chives, dill, cumin, thyme, caraway, seeds, chilli, pepper, mint, tarragon, parsley, olive oil, ranch dressing and tamarind chutney
Dairy: soft cheeses (such as cream cheese, ricotta, etc.), yogurt, butter, browned butter, cream, milk
Savoury: beef, pork, anchovies, chickpeas, black beans, fish, and seafood
Serve broccoflower anywhere a recipe would call for cauliflower. Try roasting it or grilling it for an eye-catching side dish.
Make a broccoflower soup! It will have a cauliflower flavour but will be a tinge sweeter like broccoli.
Serve broccoflower raw like you would cauliflower and broccoli. It makes a great vessel for dipping into ranch dressing!