Cauliflower has recently seemed to be getting a lot of attention. A friend and I are looking forward to making time to try a new pizza recipe using a cauliflower crust. Because of all the recent attention I thought it would be interesting to re-visit cauliflower.
Cauliflower is a flowering member of the cabbage family and can be found year round. It is rich in vitamin C providing 85% of the daily recommended amount in 1 cup. It is also a good source of potassium, fiber, and folate. The white edible portion is called the “curd” and the heavy outer leaf covering is called the “jacket leaves”. A whole cauliflower weighs @ 1 and 1/2 pounds and yields about 6 cups of florets.
When selecting fresh cauliflower choose heads that are solid, heavy, and unblemished. They should also have fresh green leaves. Store cauliflower in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and for best quality use within 4 days. It can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, sauted, microwaved, or grilled. You can use it to stir-fry, in soups or added to mashed potatoes. I also just recently saw a segment on TV making cauliflower “steaks”.
Cauliflower can be cooked whole or broken into florets. You may want to add milk or lemon juice when cooking to help maintain whiteness. If steaming, allow @20 minutes for whole and 6-10 minutes for florets. To microwave, use a covered dish with 1/4 cup water in. Microwave whole cauliflower 8-10 minutes and florets 6-8 minutes. The trick to boiling cauliflower is to cook head down to keep it under water. Boil a whole cauliflower 10-15 minutes and flowerets 3-6 minutes. My favorite way to prepare cauliflower is to roast it. I feel that really brings out the sweetness. Toss the florets onto a rimmed baking sheet and mix with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for 35-40 minutes stirring occasionally.
The pizza crust my friend and I are looking forward to making involves ricing/grating the cauliflower and cooking it a little bit in the microwave. Hope it turns out to be blog worthy!