The following semi serious conversation occurred recently between Chanel Luck and me over brussel sprouts and cauliflower (…and pizza…and broccoli rabe…and wine) at Coppa, one of my favorite restaurants in Boston.
Me: You know what I discovered this past year?
Chanel: No, what?
Me: I really, really love cauliflower.
Chanel: [Expecting a more meaningful revelation, she pauses to compose herself]. What is it you like so much about this colorless, relatively tasteless vegetable? (She’s good at humoring me).
I went on to enumerate the reasons I love cauliflower (riveting stuff, obviously) and made a mental note to duplicate Chef Ken Oringer’s sprouts at home. I tried them this week, and, while they’re not in the same stratosphere as Oringer’s (they’re humbler but, I suspect, a bit healthier), they’re very delicious for an amateur, non-award-winning chef, gal.
Step 1: Lightly coat sprouts with EVOO.
Step 2: Season with sea salt, cracked pepper, and cayenne.
Step 3: Roast in oven at 400 degrees (turning once), until lightly browned.
Voila, how simple! To the sprouts, I added a favorite vegetable soup, which I make often. I like mine spicy, but you can use a lighter hand with the Indian-inspired seasoning.
Step 1: Start with a vegetable broth of your choice and bring to a boil. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Step 2: Add 2 peeled sweet potatoes and 2 peeled carrots.
Step 3: Once the vegetables begin to soften, mash them by hand.
Step 4: Add spices. (I use liberal amounts of “Bombay vegetable spice,” cumin, curry, and paprika).
Step 5: Cream until smooth with a hand mixer.
Step 6: Add one can of white cannellini beans (rinsed thoroughly). Simmer and serve.
For dessert: cauliflower, of course.