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.
Cauliflower comes in several colors.
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.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Keep bottom crown leaves attached so the cauliflowers, so it does not fall apart when removed with a large fork.
1 whole white cauliflower
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.
Remove the cauliflower from the pot, drain and place it in a shallow baking 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.
Served here with tartar sauce.
Community Services Librarian
Kansas City, Kansas Public Library
625 Minnesota Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66101
913-295-8250 ext 1103