White cauliflower, with its tightly-packed florets and large green leaves, is the most common variety. Purple cauliflower is also available and has a slightly milder flavour.
Choose firm, compact, creamy-white heads (yellow tinges are a sign of age) with crisp green leaves at the base.
Remove the outer leaves and store heads, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper for up to four days, with the heads facing downwards.
Remove stem and leaves and chop head into florets. Cauliflower can be eaten raw (with dips or in salad), steamed, roasted, mashed or added to soups and casseroles.
4 quick ways with cauliflower
Get an extra serve of hidden veg by adding cauliflower to your mash. Boil potatoes and cauliflower florets until very tender, then mash with skim milk, reduced-fat table spread and a little grated parmesan.
Roasted, spiced cauliflower is a delicious side for roast lamb or chicken. In a small bowl, combine a pinch of sugar with 1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper and paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon each of turmeric and cinnamon. Add a dash of cayenne if you like it spicy. Spray cauliflower florets with oil, sprinkle with spice mix and toss to coat. Roast at 220°C for 25–30 minutes, or until tender.
For a quick and easy mid-week dinner, try this cauliflower soup recipe. In a large pot, simmer 1 head chopped cauliflower; 2 peeled, diced potatoes; 1 chopped leek or 2 small, chopped onions; and 2 garlic cloves in 2 cups reduced-salt chicken stock and 2 cups water. Simmer until soft. Purée soup and stir through 50g crumbled blue cheese. Garnish with chopped parsley and a bit more blue cheese, if desired.
This easy pasta bake is loaded with vegie goodness. Microwave or steam 2 small chopped heads of broccoli and 1 large chopped head of cauliflower until tender. In a large ovenproof dish, combine 300g cooked pasta shapes, broccoli, cauliflower, 100g chopped lean ham and a jar of pasta sauce. Cover with reduced-fat mozzarella and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
Did you know? Cauliflower is a source of folate and a good source of vitamin C.