Choose firm, compact heads that are creamy-white. Yellow tinges are a sign of age. The leaves at the base should be crisp and green.
Remove all but the innermost leaves and store unwashed in a plastic bag in the crisper section of the fridge for 3-4 days.
Cut cauliflower into florets and wash well before using. To cook cauliflower whole, remove all leaves and cut out the core. Place in a deep saucepan filled with 8cm of water. Cover pan with lid or foil and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Aluminium turns cauliflower yellow, so it's best to use a stainless-steel pan.
5 quick ways with cauliflower
For quick cauliflower cheese, melt a little butter and oil in a pan and sauté 1 chopped onion. Add just-steamed cauliflower florets and cook until cauliflower is golden. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with grated parmesan and place under a hot grill until cheese melts.
Try a cauliflower mash: boil or steam cauliflower florets until very tender, then mash, adding some grated parmesan and dairy spread.
Make a pasta sauce by frying 4 anchovies, 2 cloves garlic and 1-2 red chillis – all finely chopped – in oil. Add chopped steamed cauliflower florets, a handful of sultanas and pine nuts and cook until cauliflower is golden. Spoon over pasta, serve with grated parmesan.
Make a soup by cooking 2 leeks and 2-3 garlic cloves – finely chopped – in olive oil. Add cauliflower florets and 6 cups of chicken stock. Simmer until cauliflower is tender, then blend. Serve topped with bacon bits and natural yoghurt. For extra flavour, add spices.
Kids will love cauliflower fritters. Steam cauliflower till soft then mash and add cheese, egg and flour to make fritters. Pan-fry and serve.