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About Cauliflower

Cauliflower Cauliflower consists of undeveloped white florets attached to a single stem that form a compact, cabbage-like head, called a curd. The curd is generally 6 to 7 inches in diameter. The white head is surrounded by long green leaves that are attached to the stem. These leaves protect the cauliflower from the sunlight, preventing chlorophyll from developing in the cauliflower. Because the head is protected by the leaves, the head stays white. The older varieties of cauliflower had to have the leaves tied up around the curd to protect it but now varieties have been developed where the leaves grow up and around the curd to protect it without tying. Cauliflower is closely related to broccoli but has a denser, more compact head, and it is most often white. It has a creamy, sweet, slightly nutty flavor and even though the florets are the most common part of the cauliflower that is eaten, the stem and leaves are also edible.Varieties include purple, orange and broccoflower. See source below for details on varieties and on cooking cauliflower.

The leaf, stalk and florets can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw, it is eaten on its own accompanied by a dip or cut up and added to salads. When cooked, it can be eaten as a side dish, alone or topped with a sauce, such as au gratin, hollandaise, or Mornay. It is also often added to other dishes, such as stir fries, pasta, quiches, omelets, soups, and stews. Cauliflower can be interchanged for broccoli in most recipes.

How to Buy:
Cauliflower is available year-round. Peak seasons are generally in the spring and fall, depending on the climate in that region. When selecting, look for thick, compact, heads of creamy white florets. The head should be heavy for its size and the leaves surrounding it should be bright green and not be showing signs of wilting. Avoid cauliflower that is blemished or whose florets have started to turn brown, which is a sign that the head is getting old. Check the bottom of the head, if it is soft, it is no longer fresh. If the the florets have started to flower they are overripe. Keep in mind that the size of the cauliflower head is no sign of quality.

Cauliflower should be left unwashed when storing. Store in the refrigerator, with stem side down, in an open plastic bag or use a perforated plastic bag. This will avoid excess moisture, which causes the cauliflower to deteriorate faster. Store for 5 to 7 days. If cauliflower is purchased as precut florets it will lose its freshness much faster. Store precut florets for up to 2 days. Cooked cauliflower should only be stored for 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator. Cauliflower can be blanched and then frozen and kept in the freezer for up to a year.




    Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Capers and Raisins
  1. Cauliflower Soup with Squash
  2. Cream of Cauliflower Soup
  3. Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Pine Nuts
  4. Lee's Potato, Squash, Cauliflower Soup
  5. Curried Cauliflower Soup with Coriander Chutney
  6. Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Brazil Nut Pesto
  7. Heidi Swanson's Couscous Soup very fast to make with cauliflower, broccoli and other vegetables
  8. Roasted Spicy Cauliflower
  9. Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Capers and Raisins
  10. Pasta with Cauliflower and Cacciocavallo from Joy of Pasta by Joe Famularo
  11. Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Red Beet Chips from Thomas Keller
  12. Marie Cameron's Cauliflower Fritters
  13. Cauliflower Gratin

Right: Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Capers and Raisins

Lee's Cauliflower Cooking Tips

Lee, author of Lee's RecipesCut off and retain the stalks. Combine and pressure cook with other vegetable trimmings such as artichoke stalks in potato water to create a vegetable broth. Alternately, julienne and add to pressure cooked pilaf rices, such as Lee's Brown Rice Pilaf or soups.

Cook cauliflower flowerets 2 -3 minutes in pressure cooker on high:




Growing Cauliflower

- Up -- Cauliflower - - Lee's Recipes -


Cauliflower is best started from transplants for both spring and fall crops. Do not transplant sooner than 2 to 3 weeks before the average frost-free date in the spring. Cauliflower is more sensitive to the cold than its cabbage-family relatives. It is important to start cauliflower early enough that it matures before the heat of the summer but not so early that it is injured by the cold. In some seasons, that compromise may be almost impossible to achieve. Transplant autumn cauliflower about the same time as fall cabbage. Use starter fertilizer when transplanting. Start the transplants so that they grow actively until transplanting and never cease growth. Always use young, active transplants. Never buy stunted plants started in flats and held too long before transplanting; results with inferior plants are almost always disappointing.

See more about growing cauliflower at: