A little sweet, a little nutty, this cabbage relative comes in green or purple but most commonly in snowy white.
Season: Year-round; peaks late fall to early spring.
How to Choose Cauliflower
Look for cauliflower with compact, creamy white florets and crisp, bright green leaves. An old cauliflower will have a yellowish tinge and tiny black mold spots on the surface.
How to Store Cauliflower
Refrigerate cauliflower unwashed (moisture speeds decay) and tightly wrapped in a plastic bag in the vegetable compartment for up to 5 days; after that, the flavor and the odor may be too strong. Precut florets are best eaten within a day of purchase.
How to Cook Cauliflower
Remove the hard core by breaking off the leaves, turning the cauliflower upside down, and cutting around the core with a small, sharp knife. Cut the rest of the cauliflower into similar-sized florets (so that they cook at the same rate). Cauliflower cooks quickly, so watch the pot carefully. For whiter cauliflower, add a tablespoon of milk or lemon juice to the cooking water. Do not use an aluminum or iron pot; chemical compounds in the cauliflower can react with aluminum to turn the vegetable yellow or with iron to turn it brown or blue green.
How to Use Cauliflower
To preserve its cruciferous-family nutrients, cauliflower should not be boiled. It can be blanched (briefly boiled), steamed, roasted, pureed for an elegant soup, or served raw in salads or on a platter of crudite.
Real Simple Cauliflower Recipes:
- Roasted Cauliflower With Currant Parsley Sauce
- Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Linguine Carbonara With Cauliflower
- Sauteed Cauliflower and Apples With Pecans
- Spicy Eggplant and Cauliflower With Basil
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.