What it is: Although cauliflower may be grown, harvested, and eaten year-round, it is by nature a cool weather crop, so get it now. The origins of cauliflower, or “cabbage flower,” can be traced back over 2,000 years ago to the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, and it belongs to the Brassicaceae family of cruciferous vegetables along with cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and bok choy. While the most commonly seen cauliflower is snowy white and round, there are many types, colors, and varieties found in the Greenmarket. There are white, green, purple, brown, orange, and yellow cauliflowers, as well as Romanesco which is notable for it’s shocking chartreuse color as well as its fractal form.
What to do with it No matter what color your cauliflower is, choose a compact bunch with firm, fresh leaves and no signs of speckling on the florets. Keep your cauliflower in the fridge for up to a week. Cauliflower is a super versatile vegetable and can be boiled, broiled, roasted, fried, grilled, or puréed. While bite-size florets are the most classic presentation, cauliflower can also be roasted whole or cut in cross sections for a cauliflower steak. It also makes a great gluten-free pizza crust, and sub for rice, pasta, or potatoes.
What some chefs are doing with it The Progress SF has curried cauliflower with coriander and chilies. Raymond Blanc recently tweeted a cauliflower and Grana Padano soup. Cleveland's Cork & Cleaver recently featured a lamb shank with roasted cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and garlic. Prima Bistro in Langley, Washington serves line caught Alaska king salmon on angratin of mushrooms, cauliflower, and sunchokes. Littleneck in Brooklyn pairs Cauliflower with an uni sauce and caperberry. And one of our favorite dishes at Harold Dieterle's Kin Shop is the Cauliflower Steak & Siamese Green Curry with kabocha squash, black mushroom & bok choi.