The head of the cauliflower (the ‘curd’) is made up of undeveloped flower buds attached to a central stalk. While the cauliflower florets are commonly white, light green and purple varieties are also available.
Avoid cauliflower with a discoloured curd. Choose a head with surrounding thick green leaves which act to protect the florets. If stored in a plastic or paper bag in the fridge, cauliflower will last up to a week.
Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and fibre.
Cut cauliflower where the floret base meets the stalk. To get around the smell when cooking cauliflower – retaining nutrients and keeping the vegetable crisp, too – minimise cooking time. To avoid any discolouring, add a little lemon juice to the cooking water. Cauliflower is attractive on a crudite platter. Enhance this slightly nutty vege by sautéing florets with garlic, minced ginger and Tamari, or add a dash of colour: sauté cauliflower with turmeric. Blended cooked cauliflower with added herbs and spices makes a satisfying soup.
Don’t discard cauliflower stem and leaves: they are edible, too, or add them to veges when making a soup stock.