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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.
How to Buy:
Right: Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Capers and Raisins
Lee's Cauliflower Cooking Tips
Cut 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:
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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: