Cauliflower can be eaten raw, and steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, fried, boiled or roasted. You can cook the cauliflower as a whole head or cut into florets.
- Cauliflower is uncommonly delicious when roasted. Cut one head into small, even florets. Toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried red pepper to taste; or toss with olive oil, 1/4-cup soy sauce and a dash of pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking tray and cook at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden around the edges.
- Chop raw cauliflower into different sizes and add it to salads. Add small florets to your favorite bean salad for extra crunch.
- To add texture to your next stir-fry dish, cut the whole cauliflower into 1/2-inch slices, break into florets and stir-fry according to your favorite recipe. Flat slices of cauliflower cook quickly and have more surface area for the sauce to cling to.
- Fix quick, healthy snacks by preparing cauliflower as soon as you bring it home from the store. Clean and cut into florets, then store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- To clean, remove the leaves and gently scrape off any brown spots with a knife. Place the cauliflower upside down on a cutting board and carefully cut around and remove the core that keeps the florets intact.
- Avoid cooking cauliflower in aluminum or iron pots. When chemical compounds in cauliflower come in contact with aluminum, the vegetable will yellow. When they come in contact with iron, cauliflower turns brown or blue-green.
Chef Cary Neff is the president of the consulting firm Culinary Innovations and the author of the New York Times bestseller Conscious Cuisine (Sourcebooks, 2002).
Care2 Recipes with Cauliflower: