Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Breadcrumbs

While many people ooh and ahh and anxiously await spring or summer produce (occasionally, I do too), my heart beats only for the bounty of fall. The winter squash, the apples, even hearty, leafy greens — all are happily fawned over at the markets. But I save my real excitement for the cruciferous vegetables: brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli.*

While this recipe doesn’t manage to feature all three of my faves, it does do an amazing job of showcasing two of them, by allowing them to char ever so slightly in a quick saute with garlic and crushed red pepper, then topping them with toasted breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. I found the recipe while sleepily browsing through this month’s Food & Wine, and upon discovery, decided I immediately had to make this. No way I was waiting three-and-a-half years with this one.

Granted, I made a few changes. The original recipe was a pasta dish, with anchovies eww. I omitted the pasta, because unfortunately, balanced meals are not how we do things around here, especially when they involve washing another pot and a colander. What we do like in my kitchen are meals that take less than a half hour to come together, taste divine and are relatively healthy. (Bonus: this would be a great side dish for that turkey dinner you’ve got planned exactly a month from today.)

*Okay fine, kale is technically also a cruciferous vegetable, but in my mind it belongs to the dark greens category, if only because I like it less than my beloved brassicas.

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Breadcrumbs
Adapted from Food & Wine

– 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

– 1 pound cauliflower florets, cut in 1-inch pieces

– 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved or quartered if large

– Salt and freshly ground black pepper

– 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

– 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

– 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

– 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I used Italian-seasoned panko)

– 1/2 cup shaved or grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1) In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the cauliflower and brussels sprouts and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and cook over on medium high, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and crisp, about 5 minutes.

2) Add 1/4 cup of oil to the skillet along with the garlic, crushed red pepper, rosemary and thyme. Cover and cook over low heat until the cauliflower and sprouts are tender, about 6-10 minutes.

3) In a small skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toast the bread crumbs on medium high heat until golden and crisp, stirring occasionally. Top the cauliflower and sprouts with the toasted bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese.

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