Forget the stinky school dinners you used to have to endure, with over-cooked cauliflower slinking its way off your plate.
This much-maligned vegetable is actually seriously nutritious and can be delicious, too, if you know what to do with it!
Choose cauliflower that's still white, rather than browning. If it's going brown, just slice these bits off before using - but it's a sign that you need to use it, fast!
The leaves on a cauliflower should be green and not wilting. If the stalks don't "snap" as you remove them, then your cauliflower has been hanging around for a while...
- Store in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. In plastic bags, they tend to sweat, which can make the florets go mouldy.
Avoid pre-packaged, ready-trimmed and washed cauliflowers. Not only do they have a lower vitamin content, but they've probably been washed in chlorine solutions.
- Break your cauliflower into florets and wash carefully before eating, unless you're partial to a bit of extra caterpillar protein in your dinner!
(Non-organic cauliflower is less prone to this).
Cauliflower can be broken into small florets and eaten raw as crudites or in salads.
If you cook it, bear in mind that the sulphur compounds create that infamous "cauli-stink" associated with over-cooked, soggy cauliflower in "institutions"... The longer you cook it, the stinkier it gets!
Traditionally only the white part (called the curd) of the cauliflower is eaten. However, the leaves and stalk can be added to stock, to improve flavour.
More Cauliflower InformationCauliflower is a member of the brassica family, like broccoli.
The absence of the chlorophyll green pigment is what gives it its white colour.
It's high in vitamin C (100g of cauliflower provides over 70% of the recommended adult intake!) and is also a good source of vitamin B6 and folate (vitamin B9).
The origins of cauliflower are unclear, but its use is recorded in Italy and Turkey as long ago as 600 BC.
It is widely used in Indian cooking and has been used traditionally in the UK for hundreds of years.
Did you know...?
The stinky smell often associated with cauliflower is from the sulphur released during cooking. Want less stink? Cook it less!
Cauliflower Chickpea Pitta Pockets This is a lovely way of enjoy cauliflower. The chick peas give the meal a nutty flavour and the watercress means itís packed with nutrients. If you can get hold of tahini (sesame seed butter), it adds to the flavour and is also full of calcium and essential fatty acids. Ingredients
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 200g cooked chickpeas
- 150ml natural yoghurt
- 5 spring onions
- Small bunch watercress or rocket (see variations)
- 1 pitta bread per person
- 2 tablespoons tahini or peanut butter (optional)
- Break off the cauliflower florets into thumb-sized chunks. Wash well.
- Cook in a small amount of boiling water in a covered pan for 5-8 minutes, until tender. Drain and allow to cool.
- Wash and trim the spring onions. Slice finely.
- Wash the watercress and drain well. Chop finely.
- Mix together the spring onions, watercress and yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix together the cooked cauliflower, chickpeas and the dressing, until thoroughly combined.
- Optional: Cut each pitta pocket in half and smear one inner side with ¼ of the tahini or peanut butter, if using.
- Divide the chickpea and cauliflower mixture even between the pitta pockets.
- Serve immediately.
- Autumn Vegetable Stir Fry
This is a quick and easy way of using up any leftovers in your autumn veg box. We've listed the ingredients we most commonly use, but you can adapt this recipe to suit whatever you've got spare.
- Cauliflower Chickpea Pitta Pockets
This is a lovely way of enjoy cauliflower. The chick peas give the meal a nutty flavour and the watercress means itís packed with nutrients. If you can get hold of tahini (sesame seed butter), it adds to the flavour and is also full of calcium and essential fatty acids.
- Halloween Veggie Skeleton Platter
I think the picture says it all!
I came across this idea last year - thanks so much to Laura at Feeding Frenzy for the photo.
- Purple Cauliflower and Romanesco with Blue Cheese Sauce
This was initially an experiment, but as a recipe for purple cauliflower and / or Romanesco, it's delicious. It takes 20 minutes start to finish and looks impressive, too.
- Romanesco Cheese
Use your favourite cheeses in the sauce for this recipe. It's important that it has a good flavour, or it will taste bland against the romanesco. This recipe also works well with broccoli or cauliflower.
- Sweet Millet Surprise
This delicious recipe has been provided by Wholefood Harmony. As well as being delicious when made with parsnips, it also works very well with cauliflower and butternut squash.
- Thai Style Squash Curry
This curry is easy to make and pretty quick. Just make the paste, chop the veggies and cook it all in a wok (or large frying pan) with the coconut milk. Works well with pumpkin, too.
- Winter Stir Fry
Stir fries are a real fast food, yet they're healthy.
The trick is to prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking.
The sauce with this stir fry is delicious, but you may need to add a little water, if your peanut butter is really thick.
The vegetables below are just suggestions. You can vary this recipe to include most winter vegetables. Just chop them into pieces that will cook quickly.
Got one? Send us your recipe!
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