1. Broccolo ain't no broccoli
Cauliflower, or cavolfiore becomes ‘broccolo’ in Sicily. Actually they’d call them ‘vrocculi’ or ‘rocculi’. What do they call broccoli then? Sparacello. No matter how you call them – a cauliflower by any other name would smell as foul. Sicilian cauliflower is green or red. And the season lasts for about 5 months. And that is why there are so many recipes.
2. Broccolo arriminato
Broccolo ‘arriminato’ is the best recipe to take the winter blues away. This exquisite dish has a privileged place in the Sicilian soul. Arriminato is the Sicilian word for mixed. Very few recipes represent and recall a feeling so strong as this one does. It can be make with white cauliflower. Not only a good way to prepare cauliflower, it is an excellent way to please your diners.
3. Cauliflower in batter
Raw cauliflower florets fried in batter. Easy peasy. Or not? All cooks have their batter recipe. And are terribly secretive about their version. Lately, with the Japanese cuisine fad overflowing the world, tempura has entered the culinary scene, even in Sicily: bloccolo in tempula. Once frying, add some artichokes and ‘cardi’, cardoons
4. Broccolo affogato
This ‘drowned’ cauliflower is a popular side dish. Catania uses red wine to drown, Palermo white. As long as there’s anchovy, things can’t get wrong. Often topped off with the Sicilian signature: pine nuts and raisins. Although usually served as a side dish, it can become a salad, even the condiment for pasta.
5. Winter salad
Boil your cauliflower with mercy, leaving the florets ‘al dente’ – with a bite to them. Let the broccolo cool down and season with olive oil, lemon and salt. Some add a sliced orange. This completes a perfect festive salad.
Certainly not part of the popular tradition but very tasty indeed is cauliflower ‘carpaccio’. Very thin slices of broccolo seasoned with oil and chips of hard cheese.