We’re in that spot between seasons where we’ve honestly grown a little tired of totally over-the-top comfort food, but it’s still too cold out to start noshing on our lighter spring favorites. We’re in a food funk, and who better to help guide us out of it than Giada De Laurentiis, creator of fresh-tasting but still ingulgent foods like lemon grilled cheese and vegetarian pomodori al riso? She posts a lot of veggie-forward recipes, and one recently caught our eye: a crispy Parmesan broccoli and cauliflower salad. The vegetables are served warm on a bed of lemony spinach, for a perfectly balanced between-seasons meal. Even better? It’s done in just over 30 minutes.
The star of De Laurentiis’ salad is obviously the crispy Parmesan broccoli and cauliflower. To get the coating on your vegetables, you simply toss the cut-up florets in beaten eggs, then dredge them in grated Parmesan cheese.
These are shallow-fried in olive oil in a skillet for about three minutes per side, until each bit of broccoli and cauliflower is enrobed in crispy Parmesan cheese. It’s honestly one of the best ways we can think of to eat more veggies, but the recipe doesn’t stop there.
To turn this into an actual meal, the crispy Parmesan broccoli and cauliflower are added to a bed of spinach that’s been drizzled with lemon vinaigrette. The lemon juice and zest really brighten up the flavors of the cruciferous veggies, and help to cut through the richness of the Parmesan coating. Toss the veggies with the dressed spinach, and you’ve got dinner.
Now, if this still doesn’t sound like quite enough food for you, never fear. You could easily add some shredded rotisserie chicken or a can of drained white beans (sauteed in some olive oil with garlic for best results) for more protein, or (stay with us) you could toss the spinach and vinaigrette with freshly cooked pasta, then top the pasta with the crispy Parmesan broccoli and cauliflower. It’s a recipe that’s darn good as written, but that’s also able to be tweaked so it suits your kitchen’s needs.
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