What Is Cauliflower?
The ever so versatile cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable. It belongs in the same family as broccoli, kale, bok choy and Brussels sprouts.
So, what exactly is a cruciferous vegetable anyway? Well, the word “cruciferous” is derived from the Latin word “Cruciferae”, which means “cross bearing”. And by cross bearing, they are referring to the fact that the four petals resemble a cross.
Cauliflower is a low-growing plant and when the head of the vegetable is enclosed inside its large green leaves, it resembles a cabbage. When it opens up, it reveals its cream-coloured head with tight knit florets.
Mark Twain described cauliflower as ‘cabbage with a college education’
The average size of a cauliflower head is about 13-18 cm in diameter. It is dense and the florets are attached to the main stem.
What Are the Health Benefits of Cauliflower?
Delicious yet healthy. Now, that’s our kind of food!
Cauliflower is an excellent source of Vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B6 and K.
It is fat free, a great source of dietary fibre which helps to promote gut and digestive health and high in folate (B9).
This vegetable has anti-inflammatory effects on the body and has much needed antioxidants.
How to Choose a Good Cauliflower
The head of the cauliflower should be a consistent cream colour with no dark spots. A yellowish tinge is a sign that it’s not as fresh as it should be.
It should feel heavy when you pick it up and ensure that the florets are all tight and intact.
The leaves of the cauliflower are another good way to ascertain whether it is good. If it is starting to wilt and is not a nice healthy bright green, it’s on its way out.
What Does Cauliflower Taste Like?
Flavour: When eaten raw, it can have a bitter after taste. When cooked as it is, it has a mild, nutty flavour and some might even describe it as being a little bit sweet.
Texture: Crunch. That is the first word that comes to mind. It softens dramatically the longer you cook it and it can even get to a point of being silky smooth when mashed.
What Goes Well with Cauliflower?
Fruit and Vegetables
Apples, asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, capsicum, carrots, celery, corn, garlic, ginger, jack fruit, kale, lemon, lime, mango, mushroom, olive, onion, orange, pea, pomegranate, potato, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato, tomato.
Herbs, Nuts and Spices
Almond, basil, bay leaf, cardamom, chervil, chives, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garam masala, marjoram, mint, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, pine nuts, tarragon, thyme, walnuts.
Protein and Other
Anchovy, beef, blue cheese, buffalo mozzarella, butter, cheddar cheese, chickpeas, curry, farro, feta cheese, gruyère cheese, parmesan cheese, pork, quinoa, rice, saffron, tahini, tofu, turkey, turmeric, yoghurt.
How to Use Cauliflower in Salads?
Nothing appeals to us more than a vegetable that is so incredibly diverse in how we can manipulate it and transform it. Because of this versatility, it is one of the best vegetables to use in salads.
You can have them raw like in our Tofu Skin Salad with Cucumber and Cauliflower.
The most popular way to have it is probably roasted of which we have many recipes showcasing roasted cauliflower.
You can turn them into cauliflower rice which is a fantastic way to replace rice while still having very similar textures.
We have cauliflower steaks, fried Chinese cauliflower and even baby cauliflower. It truly is endless what you can do with this incredible vegetable.
Salad Recipes with Cauliflower
Hearty and wholesome. Two words not normally used to describe a salad. But this Purple Cauliflower Salad is exactly that due to its creaminess, roasted undertones and nutty flavours.
What could be more scrumptious than whole roasted baby cauliflower? Combine them with spiced chickpeas and beetroot tahini, and you’ll have a middle eastern inspired salad that won’t disappoint.
Imagine little roasted florets sprinkled with red seeds against a backdrop of bright green sprouts. This Pomegranate Roasted Cauliflower Salad is a recipe bursting with contrasting flavours and textures.
More Ingredient Pairings
Here are more ingredient pairing ideas for your next salad creation!
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