Meet cauliflower. No, he’s not an albino broccoli, but they are related. If you haven’t noticed, almost all of the winter vegetables that I’ve written about so far are related. It’s their time to shine!
Cauliflower is a rare vegetable outside of the grocery store. It usually takes a back seat to other more “standard” vegetables. But, cauliflower has some awesome qualities. It’s rich in vitamins C and K, a good source of potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B, boron, has been linked to reducing cancer and has three grams of fiber and 25 calories per cup! That sounds like nine good reasons to me to eat some cauliflower.
If its pale exterior is a little frightening, don’t fret. Cauliflower has a very mild flavor, which lends itself to numerous dishes. Like its other cruciferous relatives, cauliflower grows best in cooler climates, as hot temperatures can stunt head growth. When growing, cauliflower requires lots of space. Each head is usually between two – three pounds, resulting in seven to eight tons per acre at harvest!
As for preparation, cauliflower is very versatile. It’s delicious just about any way. Cooked, steamed, roasted, sautéed, pureed, raw, etc. My personal preference is roasted. Roasting cauliflower (and pretty much any other vegetable) is about the easiest thing in the world. I think making a PB & J has more steps. How’s that for ease.
- 1 head cauliflower
- Olive oil
- Salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces (see following) and place onto a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over cauliflower and toss with hands. Put into the oven for 20 – 30 minutes depending on preference of doneness (20 minutes – lightly browned, 30 – more brown). Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with salt (optional).
Note: This method can be done for almost every vegetable (seriously). Just adjust baking times.
How to cut a cauliflower? On the outside, they look pretty simple. Then you take it out of the bag and you realize it is nothing like broccoli. Yikes. What I like doing best is unwrapping the cauliflower and flipping it over so the head is on the counter. Then just take a knife at a slight diagonal angle and cut all the way around the stem (essentially removing the stem from the head). Then just rinse, and continue to cut the head like it were broccoli (just find where the individual stems are and cut. As you get closer to the top, the stems get smaller, here you can just cut several at once and just cut them in half for more bite sized pieces). And voila, you’ve got yourself some cauliflower. Now, invite all your friends over and show them. Practice makes perfect!
The enemy of all children is next week. Brussel sprouts! But I assure you they are actually really tasty!