The Frying of a Christmas-Tree Floret – Broccolo Romano Fritto

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Now then … this is a broccolo romano … Roman broccoli.  Is it just me .. or does it somehow resemble a Christmas tree?2 This is what it looks like from underneath … very sturdy. You can see how the florets are attached to a central ‘choke’.  The choke is edible but not for the purposes of this recipe.3Here it is standing on the wooden board.  It’s a bit lop-sided, true, but still “Christmassy” shaped to my mind.  Not that it matters.  The ‘tree’ must now undergo a procedure to ‘de-structure’ it.4 What you do is … snap off all the florets from the central ‘choke’, and if the floret is very large, then you just cut it in half.5 Then you steam these florets.  Or else  you can simmer them in salted water.  You don’t need for them to cook until they are fork-tender but on the other hand you don’t want them to be as hard as bullets.  Be judicious in your approach.  It took at least 15 minutes of steaming to get to the consistency I was after.  At which point, I put them outside on a very cold balcony so that they would cool properly.6 In the meantime I got on with the batter … because, you see, these broccoli florets are going to get fried.  Yum! say I, a fried food fanatic.  So … I measured the flour and it came to 250g.  I then put two egg yolks in with the flour … and all three egg whites plus 1 egg yolk in another bowl.  I poured in about 250ml of sparkling of very cold water.7 I used an electric whisk to smooth everything into consistency … adding a little more water, as required.  I realise this might sound irritating, but there is no way I can provide exact amounts.  These will depend on the kind of flour and the eggs you are using.  Just play it by ear but use your eye to do so!8 I then poured the mixture into the bowl with the flour and two egg yolks …9 And whizzed some more … until the batter was very very smooth.10 Ordinarily, I would have left the batter to settle for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.  But I was in a bit of a hurry and so put it inside the freezer for about 6 minutes.11 The florets had cooled by then …12 And once I retrieved the batter from the iciness of the freezer … it was nice and thick and very creamy and enveloping.13 I gently dropped each floret into the batter … a very cold batter, remember?14 I waited until the two-inch deep vegetable oil (groundnut/peanut in this case) was hot enough  and then started frying the florets.  I turned them over once or twice, until they were fried all over.  I fried them in batches, placing them on some kitchen paper to absorb any eccess oiliness.15 And then served them on a large plate … having sprinkled a good amount of salt all over them.  “Il fritto vuole il sale” says an Italian frying axiom: it means that fried foods like their salt.  No salt … no point frying your foods.16 17The batter was light … the consistency was right … the frying was correct (no greasiness) … if, like me, you like good fried foods … what more could you desire?

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About myhomefoodthatsamore

Community celebration via food, wine and all beautiful things.
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8 Responses to The Frying of a Christmas-Tree Floret – Broccolo Romano Fritto

  1. Pingback: Broccolo Romano Fritto Recipe | Le Marche and F...

  2. Karen says:

    I would love these. I don’t know why we don’t get broccolo romano where I live.. I’ll use your batter recipe with regular broccoli and cauliflower.

  3. As much as I love a crisp deep fried (and salted!) morsel, it is the one cooking method that I don’t use – this post is making me re-consider! When I saw the last few photos, it occurred to me that chickpea flour would also be nice. Thanks for posting this Jo x

  4. Jody and Ken says:

    We don’t fry a lot, but sometimes… These look wonderful. We just published a post about roasting whole cauliflower. I don’t think I’ve ever seen broccolo Romano in the U.S., but I’d definitely try your recipe with cauli. Thanks. Ken

  5. We get the small sizes of these Christmass-tree-florets. I wondered how to prepare them. Now I know! :P

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