Cauliflower is a member of the brassica family which includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, bok choy, rocket and radish to name a few. The name means a flowering cabbage and is often referred to as a 'curd'. A head consists of tight immature flower buds on a central stalk, which can be cut into smaller pieces known as florets.
Cauliflower is a very popular cooler season vegetable, with a mild flavour and many uses globally. It's often harvested with it's own 'wrapper' leaves to product it from damage, and although traditionally and most commonly known in white, can be found naturally in green, purple, orange and pointed (romanesco) variations. The origins of a cauliflower are mainly European. More recently, tropical and Mediterranean versions have been selected for use in more other regions.
How to prepare
Remove the outer leaves and cut into the inner stems to separate into florets, wash and prepare as required. Florets can be consumed raw, giving a crunch and nutty flavour to any dish, but also cooked. Hint: the stems can also be used, simply trim off the outer skin and slice finely, limiting any waste.
- Baked: 10-20 minutes
- Sautéed: 6-9 minutes
- Microwave: 4 - 6 minutes
- Deep fried: 2 - 3 minutes
- Grilled: 8-12 mintues
- Steamed: 8-14 minutes
Buyer's and storage guide
A fresh white cauliflower should have an undamaged curd that is firm and a bright colour. A large cauliflower is enough to prepare 4 side servings or as a feature on it's own
Cauliflower should be stored in an unsealed bag or container in the refrigerator for about a week, otherwise consume within 2-3 days
If you find you have an abundance or don't think you'll use all you have, prepare the curd into florets and blanch by adding to a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain, pat dry and pack in a sealed bag or container to freeze. For use is soups, stews and stocks these will last for 8-12 months.
- Traditionally cooked in any manner suggested above and served as a side alongside other vegetables and meat
- Use in curries, creamy, tomato or other sauces and 'one pot' dishes
- As a base key ingredient in soups, cauliflower combines well with celery, leek, potato and seasonal herbs
- Tempura florets, lightly battered and pan fried (with or without spices)
- Served raw in smaller florets with a dip as a healthy snacks / finger food