Cauliflower pairs well with strong flavors like cumin, basil, mustard, thyme, and turmeric. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is available year-round and can be prepared a variety of ways. Cauliflower comes in many different varieties with colors like green, orange, and purple in addition to the well-known white color. Cauliflower is said to have originated in ancient Asia and be staple in King Louis XIV's court in the 16th century. Although introduced to North America in the 1800's, cauliflower was not commercially available until the 1920's.
Cauliflower is high in glucosinolates which are compounds that help prevent cancer and give off the sulfurous smell when cooking. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane which helps protect eye health and reduce blindness, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
- Fiber important for digestive health and keeps you feeling full
- Vitamin A: good for vision
- Vitamin C important for immune system, healthy skin, and wound healing
- Folate important for preventing neural tube defects and may help prevent cancer
- Potassium helps lower blood pressure and helps muscles contract
How to Shop
Choose cauliflower that has a creamy white color with densely packed florets free of blemishes, brown spots, or wet spots. If the cauliflower has a strong smell, it is past its prime. If the leaves are still attached, they should be vibrantly colored and fresh. Cauliflower is available year-round, although its peak season is Fall.
How to Grow
Cauliflower does best in fertile soil that is constantly moist. Plant seeds 3-6 inches apart and up to 1/2 inch deep. Cauliflower requires consistently cool temperatures to grow, preferably around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and at least 6 hours of sun per day. After the head is around 2-3 inches in diameter, begin blanching process. The cauliflower will be ready to harvest 7-12 days after blanching.
How to Store
- Store cauliflower head in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. For long-term storage, you can freeze or pickle cauliflower heads.