You might have noticed that cauliflower is trending right now! Part of the cruciferous family, this fall favorite contains anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties and lots of potential for versatility. Although it’s not as nutrient-dense as its close cousin, broccoli, it still touts an array of vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins C and K, as well as fiber, folate, and choline, which is said to be good for boosting brain function.
In the kitchen, cauliflower is like a blank canvas that can easily be dressed up with lots of flavor. Its texture can also be transformed into cauliflower rice or mashed for those looking to avoid grains and nightshades. Because of its diversity, this veggie is soaring in popularity. Some people even swear that cooked cauliflower with a little butter on it tastes a lot like lobster! Try it steamed with any seasoning you like (see the variations) to show off your side-dish savvy.
Total: 00:10 Prep: 00:05 Cook: 00:05
1 medium head of cauliflower
1. Wash the cauliflower. Remove the stem and core, and cut into large bite-sized florets.
2. Place a large plate or baking dish nearby to cool the vegetables when they come out of the steamer.
3. Fit a steamer basket inside a large pot, and fill it with 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
4. Carefully transfer the florets to the basket, and cover the pot with a lid. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until fork-tender.
5. Quickly remove the vegetables from the steamer basket with tongs. Spread them out on the plate or baking dish, in a single layer with space in between, so they can cool down and stop steaming.
- Cauliflower Mash. Transfer the steamed and slightly cool florets to a food processor. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Pulse until creamy. Adjust seasonings as desired.
- Cauliflower with Garlic and Curry Powder. Place a pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, and sauté 2 to 3 cloves of minced garlic. Mix in curry powder to taste, and add the cooked cauliflower. Toss well to coat, and season with salt.
- Steamed Cauliflower Salad. Place the steamed and cooled cauliflower in a large bowl. Chop some tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives, and add them to the bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. If desired, coat with balsamic vinaigrette. Garnish with fresh herbs.
We all know about white cauliflower. But did you know you can also find orange and purple varieties? They all contain many of the same health benefits, but the change in pigment lends to some varying characteristics. Purple cauliflower contains powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, and the orange cauliflower contains beta-carotene. Have fun mixing and matching all the pretty colors and their different nutrients on your plate!
If you have picky eaters at home, cauliflower is easy to transform into delicious and nutritious side dishes and meals. Because of its neutral flavor, you can add all of your favorite dressings and seasonings, from olive oil and fresh herbs to butter and sea salt. You can toss cauliflower into salads or use it in soups. See this Curried Red Lentil Soup recipe for additional inspiration.