Photo credit: Thadah Wah
Cauliflower, like its relative broccoli, is not only high in vitamin C and fiber but also low in fat and carbohydrates. It can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, or eaten raw. Although most of us tend to take off the outer leaves and stalks, the leaves are also edible and nutritious. For even cooking, break the florets into similar-sized pieces. After eight minutes of steaming or five minutes of boiling, the florets should be soft but not mushy (depending on size). Stirring while cooking can break the florets into smaller, uneven pieces, so go easy with the stirring!
STORAGE: Store cauliflower as a head loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge. It should store for about two weeks as a head, but only about one week once cut into florets. Cauliflower will naturally oxidize the longer it is exposed to air and light (just like a slice of apple), so lots of small pale brown dots doesn't mean your cauliflower has gone bad. You can just scrape them off with a sharp knife if you don't like the look and still use the majority of the cauliflower. How do you know if it's too far gone to use? Follow your nose! Cauliflower that's gone bad has a pungent, off-putting odor and usually the spots have turned dark brown or black. Want to preserve cauliflower for the longer term? You can blanch it and freeze it in florets!
RECIPE: Roasted Garlic Cauliflower (serves 6)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.
2. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. 3. Pour into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.