Mark Twain once said, “Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.” 

Cauliflower belongs to the Brassica family of vegetables, together with cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprout, and all the collard greens. These superfoods have high levels of antioxidants and cancer-fighting properties. White cauliflower is the most common variety, but there are also colorful varieties like the bright green Romanesca, the purple Graffiti, and orange or yellow cauliflowers, which have higher levels of antioxidants than the white variety. Cauliflower has a lower “respiration rate” than broccoli, which should be consumed fast after harvest, but cauliflower can be stored for a week without compromising its nutritional value. When cauliflower is boiled, it releases a sulfuric compound that produces a strong smell.

several heads of raw cauliflower in various colors

Cauliflower comes in several colors.

heads of white cauliflower in a shipping box

White cauliflower is the most common variety available in any store.  

Cauliflower is not just a side dish; it also makes a filling and delicious main dish. Cauliflower was once hard to find on menus, but the recent rise in popularity of gluten-free cauliflower pizza dough has made this versatile vegetable ubiquitous.

A head of roasted cauliflower sitting on a plate

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Magda Born
Cauliflower is not just a side dish; it also makes a filling and delicious main dish. 


  • 1 Whole cauliflower head
  • 3 Tbs Olive oil
  • 3 Tbs Butter
  • Large flaky sea salt


  • In a pot large enough to submerge the whole cauliflower, bring salted water to a boil and gently cook the cauliflower head side down until almost soft. Do not overcook it, or it will fall apart while trying to take it out. 
    A head of cauliflower upside down in a pot of boiling water
  • Remove the cauliflower from the pot, drain and place it in a shallow baking dish.
    a head of cauliflower with butter sitting in a shallow cooking dish
  • Put butter and olive oil over the cauliflower, sprinkle with high-quality flaky sea salt, and roast for 1-2 hours, depending on the size. When done, the cauliflower should be golden brown and crispy and tender on the inside. Toward the end of baking, place the cauliflower under a broiler, if desired, until a beautiful brown crust forms.
    A head of roasted cauliflower sitting on a plate
  • Served here with tartar sauce.
    cooked cauliflower served on a plate with a baked potato with herbs and chopped cabbage

Magda Born

Community Services Librarian

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66101

913-295-8250 ext 1103