If I’m being honest, we are not a family who does well about eating our veggies. Chef J purports to be an omnivore but I promise that if I put a pile of green beans next to his steak or meatloaf, that plate will very often come back with the protein and carbs eaten, but the veg barely picked at. The Boy is a LITTLE better – he actually LOVES broccoli – but still the veg does go to waste sometimes. I force myself to eat the veggies first but I truly prefer the carbs and the protein as well. Not super mature, but the tummy wants what it wants.
But a few years back, I was at a total loss as to what to cook for dinner one night. I had failed to make a concrete plan and was doing the dreaded fridge search for ANYTHING to eat. All we had was a package of Italian sausage, half a head of cauliflower and a big sweet potato. Figuring I could do something to at least “fuel the tank,” I tossed it all together and roasted it. Lo and behold, it was tremendous. I’m not sure WHY the flavors work so well together but it just does.
When you roast cauliflower at a high temp, it browns and caramelizes in the most wonderful way. And it’s a vegetable for goodness sake! Combined with the fat that cooks out from the sausage and the sweetness of the sweet potato, it has become a family favorite. During the fall and winter, we’ll eat this once or twice a month. It has a total of four ingredients (not counting salt and pepper) and is actually somewhat healthy. We’ve done it with smoked sausage as well but I prefer it with a fresh (not smoked or cured) sausage. But when you make this dish, the cauliflower and the sweet potato are really the star of the show. The sausage is just a (very important) supporting role.
Chef J even
stole borrowed my recipe to make a stuffing for a pork loin at work. It worked beautifully that way, but frankly, I still love just to tuck in with a nice bowl of this tastiness all on its own. It’s great for a weeknight meal when you’ve got other stuff going on because you simply stick it in the oven and walk away. Sometimes, I’ll even throw together a salad or toast up some frozen garlic bread for a really full, fairly veggie-centric dinner.
Sausage and Veggie Bake
- 1 lb Italian Sausage links (you can use turkey or chicken sausage if you prefer although the fat content isn’t quite the same), cut into 1 inch segments
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut int 1 inch florets
- 1/2 C good quality olive oil
- 1 t coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 t black pepper
Preheat oven to 425F.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat well. Line rimmed cookie sheet with foil and spread everything out evenly. You don’t want it piled up. If possible, everything should be as exposed to the heat as possible.
Roast in oven for about 25 minutes, shaking pan once about half way through. If after 25 minutes, it’s not browning up, crank the heat to 450F and roast another 5 minutes or until desired brownness.
Allow to rest for just a few minutes and serve. Done. Seriously, that’s it!
**This can be easily adapted to be kosher by using a kosher turkey or chicken Italian sausage, you’ll just need to use a bit more olive oil as the fat content in the poultry sausage isn’t quite high enough.