Inspired by the Garden: Roasted Romanesco with Lamb

Posted: February 17, 2015

Spring is nipping at our heels here in the Napa Valley but the night air still brings frost in the morning. It’s the time of year when you look in the garden and delight in the small things, the green things. Those vegetables that are sprouting and thriving, though it’s Winter.

During this time of year we love cooking heartier dishes with delicious heirloom winter veggies. We recently harvested from our winery pairing garden many gorgeous heads of Romanesco, this brilliant, lichen-y green colored, pointy-headed delight of a vegetable. It is an heirloom Italian edible flower from the same family as broccoli, first documented in Italy in the 16th century. It has a slightly nutty, earthier flavor with a hint of sweetness. It’s a downright gorgeous addition to a dish.

Our in-house chef Burroughs shares his rustic, roasted take on this lovely, unique vegetable in this recipe. We recommend opening a bottle of the 2012 Oakville Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon as a pairing.

Braised Lamb Shank with Romanesco
For the sauce
1 C of small diced carrots, celery, onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1t of rosemary, sage, and thyme chopped
1T tomato paste
2C good red wine
2C veal demi glace
1qt veal stock
2ea lamb shanks 14-16oz
2ea pepper dew peppers chopped
1t cumin
grape seed oil
For the vegetables
¼ ea head of green Romanesco
¼ head orange cauliflower
¼ C Chickpeas
1 clove sliced garlic
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup dry unoaked white wine
4T freshly grated parmesan
Dredge the lamb shank in flour and brown all sides in a medium enamel cast iron dish with grape seed oil. Remove the lamb and add the chopped vegetables along with the all the seasonings. Cook on high heat until they begin to brown. Add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Deglaze with the red wine and reduce by half. Add the veal stock, demi glace and lamb back to the pot and cover. Place in the oven at 300F until the lamb is falling off the bone – roughly 2-3hrs.
When the meat is almost done, bring 3 T Olive oil to heat in a large sauté pan. Add Romanesco and cauliflower first and then after 2 min add the chickpeas. Slightly brown, then add garlic and pine nuts and finally deglaze pan with white wine and dust with parmesan. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Platter the lamb with the vegetables.