© 2008 by Horia Varlan on Flickr.com, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is part of the brassica or cabbage family, meaning it’s related to broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Cauliflowers have roundish heads (about 6-10 inches wide), which are creamy-white to pale cream in color and look like a fluffy white cloud. When cut in half it looks like a dense rounded tree with the main white branch dividing into many small branches which end in a mass of white to creamy-white flower buds or ‘curds.’

Best Storage Practices:

Store uncooked cauliflower between 35°-40° (most refrigerators run at 40° or below) in a paper or plastic bag in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator for up to a week. Store the stem side down. Pre-cut cauliflower should be refrigerated and consumed within a couple of days.

Fun Ways to Eat and Cook:

Cauliflower can be eaten raw or lightly steamed for dips and salads. It’s usually broken into flowerets before cooking and serving. Remove any tough outer leaves at the base, which can also be used in soups and stir-fries. Boil, steam, stir-fry, or microwave florets, about 4-6 minutes, depending on how crunchy or soft you like it!

Selecting Cilantro:

Choose cauliflower with a clean, creamy white head and florets that are pressed tightly together.

Why it’s Good to Eat

  • Excellent source of vitamin C
  • Good source of dietary fiber, vitamin K and folate, a B vitamin
  • Eat raw or lightly cooked to retain vitamins
  • Low in calories

When it’s in Season:

Spring and Fall; cauliflower prefers a cool, moist growing climate.

How it’s Harvested:

Cauliflower has large, spreading leaves that surround a central stalk, off of which the head grows. When the head is still firm but an appropriately large size, its stem will be cut at the ground level.

Recipes:

Basic Cauliflower

Cut 1 small cauliflower into flowerets and cook in boiling salted (optional) water until tender. Drain. Add butter, spices, or simply serve as is!

Raw Cauliflower Snack

Wash and cut cauliflower head into small flowerets. Pair with a favorite dipping sauce, like hummus, vinaigrette, or yogurt sauce. 

Cheesy Cauliflower

Cut 1 small cauliflower into flowerets and cook until tender. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir in. Add 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs, and 1 cup grated tasty cheese. Serve hot.