Doctors recommend we eat cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc.) 2 to 3 times per week. I think there may have been an entire decade–possibly in my 20s, during which I didn’t eat (at least knowingly!) any cruciferous vegetables. And I avoided brussels sprouts, in particular, like the plague. They’re one of those vegetables I hated as a kid but can’t eat enough of as an adult. Not only have I discovered many delicious ways of preparing them (unlike the boring method of simply steaming them that my parents did), but I love the fact they’re so good for me. In addition to helping lower cholesterol and protecting DNA, brussels sprouts rank as high as the other superfood, broccoli, for glucosinolates which studies show help prevent cancer.
This dish has become one of my favorite things to eat. And I’ll eat it for lunch or dinner or whenever I’m craving something with tons of flavor.
The original recipe called for the sprouts and cauliflower to be fried. (Who doesn’t love fried food?!) I made the dish twice that way, but decided to try just roasting the vegetables instead of frying them. Frying can be messy and, well, greasy. While you don’t get quite as much “fried” flavor roasting the vegetables, it’s much easier, and I think the dish is just as good with more of flavor of the brussels sprouts and cauliflower retained.
Serve this dish as a side to roasted meat or a winter vegetable soup like butternut squash or pumpkin.
1 small head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut/broken into small florets
1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered depending on size
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garum fish sauce
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F or 375F if using a convection oven. Break off the rosemary leaves and combine with the brussels sprouts and cauliflower in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil. Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until some of the sprouts get quite brown. You can run the tray under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes if you want your vegetables even crisper.
Scrape the vegetable mixture off the baking sheet back into the large bowl. Season with the salt, fish sauce and lemon juice. Add pepper to taste. Serve immediately.