My take includes warm wedges cooked in brown butter that can veer savoury with sage or sweet with brown sugar. You can serve the savoury ones alongside roast chicken or pork chops, or on toast that you’ve slathered with goat cheese or ricotta. The sweet ones can be offered in the morning to make usual oats less usual, or for dessert over ice cream.
Butternut or any winter squash for that matter, offers similar versatility. You can grate the flesh and mix it with parmesan, thyme, a bit of flour and egg and fry the mixture into irresistible fritters.
You can even tuck the fritters into warm flat bread that you’ve spread with yoghurt and top with some cucumbers and salad greens for a delightful vegetarian sandwich.
While it’s delicious made crisp, squash is also wonderful rendered soft. Try it in a simple, creamy soup spiked with pimentó* (smoked Spanish paprika) or puréed into a mash with a bit of saffron. Serve the mash as a side dish for nearly anything, including braised lamb, roasted salmon or chicken thighs.
The polarising vegetable can also take on so many forms and lend themselves well to strong flavours.
Peel the leaves off each sprout, roast quickly and top with salty pecorino cheese and bright lemon juice. These are incredibly good and can be served on their own as a snack (like kale chips, but better) or as a side dish. You could even toss them with cooked pasta and call it a day.
Or you can skip cooking altogether. Just combine thinly sliced raw sprouts with crumbled gorgonzola and chopped, toasted hazelnuts for a rich salad.
With its sturdy florets, cauliflower can also stand up to big flavours. I like to roast a whole head broken into pieces until they’re browned and crisp at the edges and toss with butter and hot sauce.
Or roast and drizzle with a simple cheddar cheese sauce (like nachos sans the chips). Both of these remind us that vegetables can be just as satisfying as anything else. And don’t forget the leaves that hug your cauliflower.
If you buy a cauliflower as fresh as possible, chances are the leaves that protect the cauliflower will be bright green and crisp and entirely edible. Do not discard them.
Instead, roughly chop them and sauté them with olive oil, minced garlic and a pinch of dried red chilli flakes like you would any other green.