Everyone is encouraged to eat more vegetables for better health, but for a foodie like me, it has to taste good too. This dish is one of our favorite ways to increase daily servings. It is easy to prepare, composed of good-for-you vegetables and meets the taste qualifier we demand. Customize the vegetable or sausage selection to suit your own palate; just don’t be afraid to add something new to the mix. Incorporating one new vegetable into a mix of favorites is a great way to introduce it to your children or expand our own experience.
One of the vegetables I included in this sauté is a new cauliflower color variety sold in markets across the U.S. Although orange cauliflower looks like someone created a new veggie-cheese combo right from the farm, I assure you it does not taste like cheese. The striking color is due to the level of Vitamin A it contains—25 times more than white varieties—but its flavor is like the familiar white variety.
If you’re tired of steamed broccoli and boiled carrots, Sausage and Vegetable Sauté will be a welcome change. Sautéing is a far more flavorful than steaming. When cauliflower rests on the pan long enough to lightly brown, its nuttiness comes through. Vegetables with higher sugar content like sweet onions and carrots caramelize, incorporating a deeper, pleasing taste. Patience and the right amount of heat is the key here, so don’t get in a hurry and stir too much. Allowing the vegetables to sear just a bit will make a big difference in taste and texture.
The sausage used in this recipe is Benetino’s Chicken Sausage with Mozzarella, Artichoke and Roasted Garlic, but any flavorful link sausage will work. Grill or pan-fry the sausage before starting the vegetables, then slice it to add-in just before serving.
Sausage and Vegetable Sauté
2-3 sausage links, grilled and sliced
1/2 small sweet onion, sliced pole to pole
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, sliced thin
1 baby bok choy, coarsely chopped
1 meg yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 med head orange cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 small bunch broccolini (baby broccoli), roughly chopped
1 cup snow peas, whole
1 med zucchini squash, sliced
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
black sesame seeds (optional)
salt and pepper, as desired
Begin by grilling or pan-frying the sausage. Once done, set aside to rest before slicing.
Slice onion in 1/4 inch slices, pole to pole, so the onion retains its shape and texture. Start the onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil over med heat in a large skillet. While the onion is cooking, chop bok choy and pare cauliflower into small florets. Add bok choy and cauliflower to skillet with sesame oil, if available, or add a little more olive oil. Allow to cook until lightly browned and caramelized.
Prepare remaining vegetables and add to skillet with Italian herbs, salt and pepper. Add butter and cover skillet with lid for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are softened, yet still crisp. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve with sliced sausage.