One Cupboard. Two Recipes: Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower Caponata with Chef Erling Wu-Bower

We’re all getting to know our cupboards pretty well these days. We’ve all been at home more than ever, and it’s given us the chance to peek into the back corners of our cupboards and fridges. It is, in fact, quite gratifying.

I cooked both of these dishes using only what I found in my cupboards and my fridge, outside of the cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Both of these dishes can be cooked, beginning to end, in about 30 minutes.

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 30 Minutes


900g brussels sprouts, cut in half

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1½ tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

The key to this dish is to caramelise the flat side of the Brussels sprouts. You should almost burn them – that's how you get the best flavour.


1. Heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan over a medium high heat.

2. Add about 3mm of olive oil to the pan. (You are going to use a lot of olive oil in this dish.)

3. Cover the bottom of the sauté pan with brussels sprouts, cut/flat side down. You will have to do a few batches.

4. Season the sprouts with salt and pepper.

5. Cook until the flat side is mahogany brown. If they start getting black, turn down the heat.

6. Using tongs, flip the sprouts to the rounded side.

7. Cook for 2-3 more minutes.

8. Remove the sprouts and place them in a bowl.

9. Repeat this process until all of the sprouts are cooked.

10. When all of the sprouts are done, pour them all back into the pan over a medium high heat.

11. Add the honey and the vinegar.

12. Stir or toss the sprouts until the honey dissolves.

13. Taste and add a bit more salt, pepper, or vinegar as needed.

14. Place back in the bowl and serve immediately.

Quick Cauliflower Caponata

Serves: 2-3

Prep Time: 30 Minutes


2 heads cauliflower, cut in half, then each half cut into 6 wedges

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 yellow onion, sliced

5 cloves garlic, sliced

150 toasted cashews

50g sundried tomatoes, sliced

35g capers

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Half a lemon, juiced


1. Heat a heavy bottomed large sauté pan over a medium-high heat.

2. Pour a 3mm layer of olive oil in the pan. (You're going to use a lot of olive oil in this dish too.)

3. Place the cauliflower in a single layer in the pan and cook until golden brown.

4. Flip the cauliflower pieces with tongs. They might fall apart a bit, but it's fine.

5. Season the cauliflower with salt and pepper.

6. Cook the second side until golden brown as well.

7. Remove the cauliflower to a serving dish.

8. Repeat this process until all of the cauliflower is cooked.

9. Add in a little bit more olive oil, reduce the heat and put in the onion and garlic.

10. Cook, stirring every now and again, until the onion is a little bit soft and the garlic is golden brown.

11. Add the capers, sundried tomatoes and cashews.

12. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

13. Add the cauliflower back to the pan and flip, or stir, so that the cauliflower breaks up a bit.

14. Add the maple syrup and lemon juice and stir some more.

15. Taste some cauliflower, season with more salt, pepper or lemon juice if you desire.

16. Place on a serving plate and serve immediately.


Erling Wu-Bower

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