Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cous cous with Broccoli Romani

I am the very happy owner of a few brassica plants. I grew them from seeds, bought from the Kings Seeds catalogue, and now that it is spring I am harvesting the last brassica to make space in the veggie garden for other seeds and plants.

But does it get tiring eating broccoli and cauli every second day? I need more recipes, and I found that Enza from Io da Grande had a lovely post on cous cous, and that she was using Broccoli Romani.

Yes, I had some in the garden just ready!

Broccoli Romani from my garden

Enza blanches the broccoli with boiling water, to which she adds salt and olive oil, then drains the broccoli and uses their water to cover the cous cous (the pre-cooked type, of course) while she fries the broccoli with olive oil. Finally she tops the cous cous with the broccoli.

I followed her instructions but made a few variations: I only added salt in the boiling water, and then added a little olive oil to the cous cous before covering it with the broccoli broth. I covered the cous cous with a lid and waited 5 minutes and then, because I have a weakness for cous cous with lemon, I stirred in the juice of half a lemon and one tablespoon of finely chopped Italian parsley.

Also, I did fry the broccoli in olive oil, but I also added 4 garlic cloves.

Considering that the broccoli, garlic, lemon, and parsley came from my garden I only had to buy the cous cous, salt and olive oil for this dish. Even the water is rain water and comes from my water tank, fulfilling a few of my self-sufficiency fantasies!

And here the last image from my veggie garden, I know that it has nothing to do with the recipe, but it is such a good looking cauliflower, and apparently it is also Sicilian (so the seed pack says...), so I am gifting it to Enza as a thank you for her recipe.

Cavolo di Sicilia from my garden

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. just a beautiful broccolo in purple just a cute gift for me!
    I didn't mention in my cous cous version the lemon juice.
    honestly I don't like it at all but it's my parent's favourite.
    I've also appreciated your clever use of water and I wonder...have you in NZ olive oil production or are you obliged to import it?
    thanks ale

  2. Yes there is olive oil here, they started to press it in the last few years. Some is quite good, the only problem is that it is still overpriced, in particular because the owners of the olive groves tend to be rich retirees who planted trees as an investment or life-style choice.

    Most of the olive oil is still imported. The supermarkets are full of oil with Italian labels, but of course it is only bottled in Italy (made...who knows where?), which is sad because customers think that it is Italian. Good olive oil comes at a price, up to 50 Euro per litre!

  3. Oh! (stupore)
    Mi piacciono praticamente tutte le tue ricette...
    Lieta di conoscerti!

  4. Grazie Claud,

    io i latticini li uso (ovviamente non sempre) pero' sono facilmente sostituibili in moltissime ricette).


  5. I have never seen broccoli romani or red cauliflower! They look yummy!

  6. Thank you Jo. I have never seen them in shops either, this is why I was trilled to be able to grow them. You can get the seeds from Kings Seeds.


  7. It must be such a pride to cook with your own vegetables! By the way... Martedì prossimo sarò a Christchurch per lavoro, abiti vicino, vero? Qualche posto da consigliarmi? Ho il pomeriggio libero, la sera riparto per Auckland.

  8. Ciao Yari, no, abito ad Auckland! ti mando un messaggio!

  9. I am so envious of these, my never to grow well :(

  10. Welcome Mangocheeks, you have a wonderful blog!!!!


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