Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Vegetables

Cauliflower is a vegetable in the cabbage family. It is very similar in appearance to broccoli, but with a different flavor.

Characteristics edit

As it is technically and immature flower, cauliflower takes the form of a large textured globe shape called a head. Like broccoli, the head is made of multiple branching florets on a central stalk,[1][2] and it has large cabbagelike leaves at the base of this stalk. The florets are white in color—though they can also come in purple or yellow varieties—with a very mild flavor. When raw, cauliflower has a crunchy texture and watery flavor that softens and mellows when cooked.[3] All parts of the cauliflower are edible.[4]

Selection and storage edit

When selecting cauliflower, look for heads that are firm and dense, with no sliminess.[2] Small brown speckles are acceptable if not widespread, as they can be trimmed off. The buds at the tips of the florets should be tightly closed with no dryness or signs of blooming.[1][2] The leaves should be green and fresh, again with no sliminess. Store cauliflower in the fridge, wrapped in plastic, where it will keep well for about 3 weeks.[2]

Preparation edit

To prepare cauliflower for cooking, begin by slicing off the outer leaves at the base of the stalk. If there is a particularly tough or woody base, slice this off as well, and remove any brown or discolored parts.[4] From here, use the tip of a sharp knife to begin separating the florets from the central stalk,[1] breaking them down into the size and shape called for by your recipe. You will eventually be left with the central stalk, which can be trimmed/peeled and eaten as well.[4] If you want to eat the leaves, remove the central rib on each one, as it is tough and usually unappetizing.[4]

Some recipes call for cauliflower rice or cauliflower couscous. These refer to cauliflower where the very tips of the florets are sliced off, producing small grains similar in appearance to rice or couscous.

Use edit

Because it is quite mild, cauliflower can be cooked in a variety of ways, taking well to many flavors and cooking techniques. If you want to keep the original flavor, steaming and boiling are the best options.[2] From there, it can be readily incorporated into salads.[5] Roasting cauliflower is a great way to concentrate and develop the flavor,[3] and it also takes well to soups, stews, curries, and rich gratins.[3] Sometimes cauliflower is pickled, typically to be sold with pickled onions and pickled cucumbers. If working with a colored variety, try cooking it with like colors to prevent color loss and leaching—for example, yellow cauliflower is complemented by turmeric, and purple cauliflower can be cooked with red wine and beets.[4]

Recipes edit

References edit

  1. a b c Gisslen, Wayne (2015-03-12). Essentials of Professional Cooking, 2nd Edition. Wiley Global Education. ISBN 978-1-119-03072-0.
  2. a b c d e Labensky, Sarah R.; Hause, Alan M.; Martel, Priscilla (2018-01-18). On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-13-444190-0.
  3. a b c Ruhlman, Michael (2008). The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen. Black Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-86395-143-2.
  4. a b c d e Thaler, Maximus; Safferstein, Dayna (2014-09). A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything. Quarry Books. ISBN 978-1-59253-928-4. {{cite book}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.