Cauliflower is so versatile, a lot of us like it, it’s packed with vitamin C and K, but are you buying and cutting it the best way?While this can help with prep time, they can spoil a bit quicker than a whole head of cauliflower, so eat/cook those soon after buying.Cook some onions, carrots, garlic and cauliflower in olive oil add a few herbs, and then blend till smooth.Cook cauliflower florets in a pan with some butter or olive oil until tender, add a little garlic and enjoy with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top.To prepare, we usually peel the outer “skin” of the stem and discard since that can be a bit tough, but after that, everything is completely tasty! .
Are all parts of cauliflower edible?
The outer layer of skin on the lower half of cauliflower stems are slightly tough, so they should be peeled before adding them to recipes.Cauliflower leaves are not only edible, but they are also healthy as well as surprisingly delicious, with a texture similar to kale, but with a sweeter flavor.If you are making a cauliflower dish, you can add in some stems and leaves to elevate the recipe by giving it some additional texture and flavor.Toss them in olive oil, spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast them at 400 degrees F until they are slightly crispy. .
How to Use Broccoli or Cauliflower Stems and Leaves
I’ve seen eaters in the farmers’ market toss out nearly half of their purchase before they even walk away from the seller.It happens because a lot of eaters simply don’t realize they are tossing perfectly edible — and flavorful — parts of their produce.Some eaters (including this one) actually prefer the stalks and leaves of broccoli and cauliflower plants to the more commonly eaten head.The stalks of these plants have a delicate flavor and texture, like a cross between broccoli or cauliflower and a water chestnut.To prep the stalks, you need to remove the fibrous outer layer that surrounds the central “marrow.” You can use a vegetable peeler to slice it off like a carrot.When you are preparing your recipe, don’t hesitate to throw in the prepped stalks right along with the florets.It’s quite sad to drive past a recently harvested field and see piles of broccoli and cauliflower leaves left behind to rot.Broccoli and cauliflower leaves are starting to pop up in grocery stores, bundled and right at home in the leafy greens section of the produce aisle.If you are shopping in the farmers’ market, you might spot heads of broccoli and cauliflower with their leaves intact.Or you can use the “O” method in which you pinch your thumb and pointer together, leaving a small circle of space between them and drag the leaf swiftly through to strip out the rib.You can eat the ribs if you finely chop them and give them a head start in the cooking process to allow them a chance to soften before adding the rest of the leaf.The leaves cook down to a soft, silky texture and the rib retains a little bit more tooth, about the same as a braised leek.If you want to impress and amaze your family and friends — and reduce food waste — whip up a batch of broccoli stem slaw (below).Adding cauliflower or broccoli florets to your baked mac and cheese is an easy way to lighten up the dish and get an extra serving of vegetables in your meal.Peel, cut them into 1/2 inch wide batons and submerge them in a hot brine bath of vinegar seasoned with a little salt and sugar and any spices that appeal to you.A head is grated on the wide holes of a box grater or chopped finely in a food processor.The resulting pebble-like pieces are used as a substitute for the grain (actually, rice is a grass, but that’s another article) or in a variety of other applications.Sauté them over medium heat with a little garlic or onion and add a splash of something tasty such as stock, wine, cider or vinegar and simmer partially covered until tender.Give them a quick blanch in salted boiling water to make them pliable and load them up just as you would a cabbage leaf.The tender stalks add just enough crunch and their delicate flavor really lets the Asian dressing shine.If you have extra veg on hand — some radishes, daikon, cabbage, peppers — you can prep them in the same manner and throw them in as well. .
Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds as the edible portion.Brassica oleracea also includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale, collectively called "cole" crops, though they are of different cultivar groups. Pliny's description likely refers to the flowering heads of an earlier cultivated variety of Brassica oleracea. This association continued into Western Europe, where cauliflowers were sometimes known as Cyprus colewort, and there was extensive trade in western Europe in cauliflower seeds from Cyprus, under the French Lusignan rulers of the island, until well into the 16th century. They were introduced to France from Genoa in the 16th century, and are featured in Olivier de Serres' Théâtre de l'agriculture (1600), as cauli-fiori "as the Italians call it, which are still rather rare in France; they hold an honorable place in the garden because of their delicacy", but they did not commonly appear on grand tables until the time of Louis XIV.Cauliflower is relatively difficult to grow compared to cabbage, with common problems such as an underdeveloped head and poor curd quality.Because weather is a limiting factor for producing cauliflower, the plant grows best in moderate daytime temperatures 21–29 °C (70–85 °F), with plentiful sun, and moist soil conditions high in organic matter and sandy soils. In the northern hemisphere, fall season plantings in July may enable harvesting before autumn frost.Long periods of sun exposure in hot summer weather may cause cauliflower heads to discolor with a red-purple hue. Applications of fertilizer to developing seedlings begin when leaves appear, usually with a starter solution weekly.Rapid vegetative growth after transplanting may benefit from such procedures as avoiding spring frosts, using starter solutions high in phosphorus, irrigating weekly, and applying fertilizer.The most important disorders affecting cauliflower quality are a hollow stem, stunted head growth or buttoning, ricing, browning and leaf-tip burn. Among major pests affecting cauliflower are aphids, root maggots, cutworms, moths, and flea beetles.When cauliflower is mature, heads appear as clear white, compact, and 15–20 cm (6–8 in) in diameter, and should be cooled shortly after harvest. Forced air cooling to remove heat from the field during hot weather may be needed for optimal preservation.This group also includes white, Romanesco, various brown, green, purple, and yellow cultivars.Northern European annuals: Used in Europe and North America for summer and fall harvest, it was developed in Germany in the 18th century and includes the old cultivars Erfurt and Snowball.Northwest European biennial: Used in Europe for winter and early spring harvest, this was developed in France in the 19th century and includes the old cultivars Angers and Roscoff.This orange trait originated from a natural mutant found in a cauliflower field in Canada. Secondary producers, having 0.4–1.3 million tonnes annually, were the United States, Spain, Mexico and Italy.Raw cauliflower is 92% water, 5% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and contains negligible fat (table).Cauliflower contains several non-nutrient phytochemicals common in the cabbage family that are under preliminary research for their potential properties, including isothiocyanates and glucosinolates.Cauliflower heads can be roasted, grilled, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled, or eaten raw.Another quality, also present in other plant species, is that the angle between "modules," as they become more distant from the center, is 360 degrees divided by the golden ratio. .
The Top 8 Health Benefits of Cauliflower
Fiber is important because it feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut that help reduce inflammation and promote digestive health ( 2 , 3 ).Consuming enough fiber may help prevent digestive conditions like constipation, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) ( 2 , 3 ).Moreover, studies show that a diet high in fiber-rich vegetables like cauliflower is linked with a lower risk of several illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes ( 4 , 5 , 6 ).Fiber may also play a role in obesity prevention, due to its ability to promote fullness and reduce overall calorie intake ( 7 , 8 ).Summary: Cauliflower contains a high amount of fiber, which is important for digestive health and may reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.Similar to other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is particularly high in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, two groups of antioxidants that have been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells ( 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 ).In test-tube studies, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates have been shown to be especially protective against colon, lung, breast and prostate cancer ( 10 ).Cauliflower contains carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants as well, which have anti-cancer effects and may reduce the risk of several other illnesses, including heart disease ( 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 ).Summary: Cauliflower provides a significant amount of antioxidants, which are beneficial for reducing inflammation and protecting against several chronic diseases.This may automatically reduce the number of calories you eat throughout the day, an important factor in weight control ( 6 , 8 ).Summary: Cauliflower is low in calories but high in fiber and water — all properties that may assist in weight loss.To begin with, it plays a major role in maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, synthesizing DNA and supporting metabolism ( 23 , 24 ).Those who don’t consume enough choline may have a higher risk of liver and heart disease, in addition to neurological disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s ( 25 , 26 ).Research shows that sulforaphane may also help reduce high blood pressure and keep arteries healthy — both major factors in preventing heart disease ( 30 ).Finally, animal studies suggest that sulforaphane may also play a role in diabetes prevention and reducing the risk of diabetes-induced complications, such as kidney disease ( 30 ).Summary: Cauliflower is rich is sulforaphane, a plant compound with many beneficial effects, such as reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.Combine pulsed cauliflower with eggs to make low-carb tortillas that can be used for wraps, taco shells or burritos, as in this recipe.Summary: Cauliflower can replace grains and legumes in many recipes, which is a great way to eat more veggies or follow a low-carb diet. .
What to do with cauliflower stems and leaves!
The pale green leaves of cauliflower become shatteringly crisp leaf-chips in the oven and the tough stems transform into tender roasted bits – all of which are perfect with a creamy dipping sauce.The garlic and lemon juice mixed in make a great pairing with the veggie-ness of the roasted leaves and stems.I’ve low-key been on board with the root-to-stem thing for a while; if you’re into it too, check out these kale stem beauties and this radish green magic.★★★★★ 5 from 1 reviews A super simple and delicious way to use cauliflower leaves and stems – roast them in the oven and pair with a garlicky dipping sauce!*See note Mix together all ingredients for the garlicky dipping sauce and serve alongside warm cauliflower leaves and stems.Notes You may want to remove any small, thin leaves from the baking sheet after the first 10 minutes of roasting to prevent them from burning. .
How to Cook with Cauliflower Leaves
I won’t subject you to my ruminations on what would fill the other four slots (today, anyway), but I will say that if you think broccoli stems belong in that list, we need to have a talk.It comes together faster than you might think, considering that it's risotto and you're using brown rice, though you may find you need a bit more time cooking than the recipe calls for.Know of a great recipe in the Food52 archives that uses an overlooked kitchen scrap (anything from commonly discarded produce parts to stale bread to bones and more)? .