Bravo Brassicas

March 6th, 2012  |  Free of Gluten, Salads, Side Dishes, Veggies  |  7 Comments

It's a mistake to ever tell my husband I'm trying to lose weight.

It sends him into a constant tip-giving and "reminder" mode which drives me nuts.

"You should be doing at least an hour of cardio 4 times a week."

"Why are you eating that cookie right now?"

"You should try swimming."

"You should really try eating more smaller meals a day."

"You really shouldn't rely on the scale to let you know how you're doing."

"Are you changing up your routine?  You can't just do the same things all the time and expect to lose weight."

"Why don't you steam some veggies and just have them in the fridge to snack on all day?"

All these things coming from a man with the genes and metabolism of an Arabian horse.  It's annoying.

But the suggestion of the veggies in the fridge really did strike a chord, especially when I got my CSA basket  this week and it was packed with beautiful bunches or romanesco, broccoli and cauliflower.  My favorite way to enjoy these vegetables is usually simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, but I know that when I roast veggies, I usually end up cooking the heck out of them until there is very little nutritional value left.

Soooo, in a compromise, I roasted some fresh fennel and shallots and used that delicious, sweet carmelization to flavor up my vinaigrette and then drizzled it over my barely-cooked crisp-tender veggies.  They were fabulous and looked so pretty too!  While I'll be snacking on these this week straight from my fridge, this would be a perfect side dish to serve along some grilled fish or chicken.


1 head romanesco, florets only
1 head cauliflower, florets only
1 head broccoli, florets only
1 tablespoon sea salt

1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white {or red} wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to Convection Roast setting at 400 degrees, or bake at 400 if your oven does not have that feature.  On a large baking sheet, drizzle olive oil over shallot and fennel.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 15 minutes, until vegetables are beginning to brown and caramelize.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

When cool, add roasted shallot fennel mixture to a small food processor.  Add remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and process for about 30-45 seconds.  Set aside.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, add florets.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes.  Drain and submerge into an ice bath {a large bowl filled with plenty of ice and water} to stop the vegetables from cooking and help maintain their beautiful vibrant colors.

Drain florets again and transfer to a serving bowl.  Drizzle with shallot fennel vinaigrette and enjoy!   Who knew eating well could taste {and look} so good?

Romanesco can be difficult to find, so if you can't get your hands on it, simply leave it out and use additional cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, whatever vegetable your heart desires.




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