ICYMI: Cauliflower is in season

By TASTE, 23 May 2017

We’re buying, eating and cooking with cauliflower right now and you should be, too. This is your in-season guide to this homely comfort food.

It is believed that cauliflower is high in vitamin C, K, beta-carotene, antioxidants and phytochemicals, aids digestion and also possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

Did you know cauliflower is related to broccolli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens and kale?

Cauliflower is also a cornerstone for the carb-conscious community as it is naturally low in carbohydrates and an ally for those who are wheat- and gluten-intolerant. Like chickpeas, cauliflower can be turned into a flour of sorts, which can be used to make pizza bases, wraps or cauli-rice.

When buying cauliflower, keep the following in mind:
Pick a firm head with compact florets with no signs of wilting or yellowing. Avoid cauliflower with brown specks on the florets; this is a sign of ageing. It’s also good to know the size of a cauliflower head is not directly associated with its quality.

How to store cauliflower?
Fresh cauliflower should be wrapped tightly in clingwrap and stored in the fridge, where it will keep for 3–5 days.

5 ways with cauliflower

The traditional and one of our most-loved ways...

Baked cauliflower with cheese

Once the cauliflower is cooked, melt 2 T butter in a saucepan, remove from the heat and add 2 T flour. Mix to form a paste, then return to the heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and slowly add 2 cups milk. Return to the heat and stir until thick. Season and add a pinch of nutmeg. Add 20 g grated Gruyère and 20 g grated Parmesan and stir until melted. Place the cauliflower into an ovenproof dish, pour over the sauce and sprinkle with 3 T breadcrumbs. Grill for 5 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Whole-roasted cauliflower soup

Heat 30 g butter in a medium-sized ovenproof casserole slightly larger than the cauliflower. Stir in 2 T flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in 1 cup milk and simmer, whisking, until thick and smooth. Whisk in 3 cups stock and ½ cup cream. Add a pinch of nutmeg, ½ t mustard and season to taste. Place the cauliflower in the centre of the casserole, rub the top with 1 T olive oil and season. Bake at 230°C for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200°C and bake for a further 20–30 minutes, or until browned and tender. Check the seasoning. Serve from the casserole, dishing up portions of cauliflower along with the soup. Serve with hot pasta and a sprinkling of Cheddar. Try the whole roasted cauliflower soup recipe (pictured) here.

Make cauli-rice

Simply cut 2 small heads of cauliflower into florets and (dry) blend until fine. Try the coconut-dressed cauli-rice winter salad (pictured above) here.

Make cauli-mash

Break 1 cauliflower head into florets, then steam them until very soft. Transfer to a food processor and purée until smooth. While the blender is still running (on a lower setting), add 2 free-range egg yolks and 100 g butter and blend until smooth. Add a pinch of nutmeg to season. Try the beef and cauli-mash shepherd’s pie (pictured above) here.

Make cauliflower purée

In a saucepan, blanch 2 medium-sized cauliflower heads, cut into chunks and drain. Add ½ cup cream, 1 T butter and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, then purée using a stick-blender until smooth and creamy. Reheat if necessary until warmed through. Try the silky cauliflower purée topped with crisp coconut chicken recipe (pictured above) here.

Discover more delicious ways with cauliflower here.


Article by TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.
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