Cauliflower has experienced a bit of a renaissance in the last couple of years. That long-standing tradition of overcooked boiled cauliflower, smothered in cheese sauce, has given way to a new way of thinking about this humble crucifer. The Spanish like their cauliflower deep-fried dunked in a coating of gram flour and paprika. In India they like cauliflower pakoras flavoured with chilli and turmeric. We like to roast cauilflower with ras al hanout and toasted almonds. Cauliflower even makes a lovely gluten free pizza base, a lighter alternative to potato mash and can be pickled in traditional Piccalilli and fermented in kimchi.
If you’re ready to take cauliflower to a new level, read on for our top tips on choosing and cooking with cauliflower, plus our favourite cauliflower recipes.
Cauliflowers come in glorious colours: purple, orange, green and the wonderful fractal-like Romanesco. Choose cauliflowers with bright green leaves, white florets and check the base for the cut which should not be dried out. Cauliflowers can be stored very well in the fridge for up to two weeks. Keep the protective leaves on when storing, but don’t put them in a plastic bag as moisture will encourage the white florets to decay and become brown.
We’re not sure why boiled cauliflower got to be so popular when it’s probably the worst way to prepare cauliflower there is. Forget about boiling and steam instead: you have better control and the cauliflower doesn’t go soggy. In the spring buy baby cauliflowers and steam them whole.
We also like to roast cauliflower in the oven until the florets begin to char. You can also slice cauliflower into “steaks” and griddle for a robust finish.
Cauliflower is also delicious raw: blitz it in a food processor for cauliflower rice, or use instead of bulgar wheat in tabbouleh with lots of fresh herbs.
Any favourite cauliflower recipes we should know about? Let us know in the comments!
All images except for the Tarkari were taken by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
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