This simple recipe for Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Proscuitto is perfect for an easy weeknight side dish. Made with antioxidant rich purple varieties of cauliflower and brussels sprouts, it’s a stunning addition to any meal.
March is National Nutrition Month® 2014 and I’m celebrating with this antioxidant packed Roasted Purple Cauliflower and Purple Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto recipe. This year, the theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” which to me means two things: (1) eating lots of healthy whole foods, and (2) making sure that whatever I prepare for my family and friends, and share with you all tastes delicious. After all, no matter how healthy any food is, no one’s going to eat it unless it tastes great, right?
I am just in awe that nature provides such beautiful vibrantly colored vegetables. Who knew there were purple brussels sprouts and purple cauliflower? The purple color is due to purple pigments in these vegetables, called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are special types of antioxidants which are believed to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activity, cardiovascular disease prevention, obesity control, and diabetes alleviation properties.
I like to have fun with my vegetables – adding vibrant colors to our dinner table just seems to brighten things up a bit. Frieda’s Produce sent me some purple cauliflower and purple brussels sprouts to play around with. If you spot colored cauliflower (I’ve found orange, yellow and purple varieties in our local supermarket) or brussels sprouts in your supermarket or farmer’s market, be sure to try them out too. Different colors = different nutrient profiles which is a good thing.
When it’s cold out, our bodies seem to crave heavier foods, meaty foods. This Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts recipe uses prosciutto to add some meaty flavors while keeping this dish on the lighter side. We rarely eat pork these days, especially after I watched Food, Inc. a number of years ago and learned about the way pigs and other animals are raised on commercial farms. In addition, after learning about cancer-causing nitrates in bacon and other cured products, I stopped buying these products too.
However, my youngest son does like bacon, so when I buy bacon, I buy uncured, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, preservative-free bacon made from turkey or humanely raised hogs (now that’s a mouthful!).
Recently, I came across Applegate prosciutto at Whole Foods in the deli section that caught my eye because it was made from pigs that have been humanely raised, without antibiotics, and the product is nitrate free.
Typically, my go-to cauliflower and brussels sprout recipe is simply to toss the vegetables with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper before roasting at high heat. Roasting prosciutto pieces with the cauliflower and brussels sprouts adds nice savory bits along with the sweet roasted onions. There’s definitely a meaty quality to this side dish. I hope you’ll give this a try.
For more health-related posts, read my two recent posts:
Let’s Move! Action Plan for Parents
and 6 Tips for Improving Physical and Mental Health
Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto
- 1 head cauliflower cut into small florets
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts
- 4 slices uncured humanely raised prosciutto, cut into bite size pieces
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (don't use too much salt since prosciutto is salty)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are browned and tender.
3 freestyle points per serving
PubMed: Anthocyanins: natural colorants with health-promoting properties
The Linus Pauling Institute: The Possible Health Benefits of Anthocyanin Pigments and Polyphenolics
Ashley - Baker by Nature says
So bright and colorful! I could eat this all day 🙂
Thanks Ashley! I had fun with these colorful veggies!
Oh these are BEAUTIFUL. We sometimes get very colorful potatoes and other unusual vegetables from our CSA or farmer’s market but I’d never seen purple brussels sprouts or cauliflower before. My food-allergic little girl also loves her bacon and proscuttio and we use Applegate bacon and sausages as well… not only is it humanely raised and uncured, but they actually care about food allergies and list all the specific spices on their website for every item. (That’s super important for families with spice allergies, like us!)
Thank you Mikhaela – yes, I do like the fact that Applegate lists their ingredients and specific spices.
This looks amazing! 🙂
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
So pretty and I love the salty touch of that prosciutto! Definitely making this.
Thanks Alyssa – the prosciutto was definitely a nice touch here and the boys enjoyed the salty bits!
Thanks Alyssa – the prosciutto was a nice treat!
Nicole Thomas says
It is a beautiful dish. Full of colors. And love the way you describe this dish. The additional explanation really adds depth to it. Now I’m going to hunt down some purple cauliflower and brussels srpouts too.
You know I’m all for Nutrition Month! And I totally agree…in addition to just being good for you, food also must taste good! This big pan of roasted veggies qualifies on both fronts!
Roasted veggies are my favorite and I am always craving for cauliflower and brussels sprouts during the winter months 🙂 Love how pretty and colorful this dish looks – would definitely brighten up a gloomy winter’s day 🙂
Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen says
I’m always drawn to the bright purple cauliflower when I spot it at the store, it’s so beautiful.
Sylvie – me too, I love colorful jewel tones veggies.
I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! I found a purple cauliflower at whole foods and had the rest of the ingredients on hand. Simple, easy, and oh so good! My veggies took a little longer to caramelize, an extra 20-25 min and they were golden and tender. Great recipe, can’t wait to make it again!
Thanks so much for trying this recipe and taking the time to come back and leave your feedback!