Cauliflower is a great winter vegetable that falls into the cruciferous or mustard family. Some other veggies in that same family include broccoli, radishes, kale, and Brussels sprouts. It is native to the Mediterranean as well as Asia, but it is now grown throughout the world.
It grows low to the soil and looks similar to cabbage. Want to know a crazy fact about it? Turns out, it is a flowering vegetable and the part that you eat, that big white globe, are its buds. These tightly bound buds are often called “curds.”
Cauliflower is grown in a few colors and while white is the most common, you can also get your hands on purple, green, and orange can also be found. A mature head can be anywhere from 6-12″ inches in diameter.
The only color not found in nature is orange which is sometimes called as “cheddar cauliflower.” Here is another crazy fact: It was produced by accident when scientists were creating a hybrid and sadly, does not taste like cheddar. I am terribly sorry for bursting that bubble.
These different colors do not vary much in terms of taste. All are mildly flavored with nutty and sweet undertones. The florets are wonderful raw as part of a crudité plate, steamed, roasted, fried, or sautéed.
Cauliflower is hardy and it can last as a whole in your crisper drawer for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, it can be broken down and stored in airtight containers in the drawer for the same amount of time.
If you start to see brown bits on the florets, just cut those away and cook it as you normally would.
Here are some fantastic recipes using cauliflower:
- Green Curry Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Herb Whole Roasted Cauliflower
- BBQ Cauliflower Bites
What are the health benefits of eating cauliflower?
Cauliflower may not be as nutritious as broccoli, but it has plenty going for it. It is high in fiber which can help enhance weight loss and improve digestion and it is packed with B-vitamins and a slew of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Which cauliflower is best for you?
All of them are the same from a nutritional standpoint while the orange and purple varieties are going to be higher in antioxidants.
What is cauliflower rice exactly?
Simply put, it is tiny bits of cauliflower created for a low carb, high fiber version of rice. Make your own at home by grating it with a box grater or throwing some bits into the food processor and giving it a good blitz.
Can you eat the core and leaves of cauliflower?
It is edible from top to bottom and yes, I do mean everything from the florets to the core to the leaves. Why let anything go to waste?
The core can be cut up and treated just as the florets in whatever recipe you are making. The leaves are great simply oiled and seasoned and cooked until tender on the grill, in a sauté pan, or roasted in the oven.