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story.lead_photo.caption Roasted Broccoflower and Shiitake Mushrooms With Rosemary and Garlic.

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.

Broccoflower is sometimes called romanesco, but there are slight differences between the two. Both are crosses of broccoli and cauliflower with broccoflower looking like a head of green cauliflower. Romanesco can be recognized by its unusual fractal pattern.

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. And it 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 Shiitake Mushrooms With Rosemary and Garlic

1 head broccoflower or cauliflower or broccoli, 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

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly coat 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 jar 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.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 110 calories, 5 g protein, 10 g fat, 17 g carbohydrate (8 g sugar), no cholesterol, 516 mg sodium and 6 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1.

Food on 09/12/2018

Print Headline: Broccoflower is 'it' for terrific side dish

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