Selecting Cauliflower

Keep cauliflower on hand -- in your kitchen or vegetable garden -- and you'll always have a tasty, nutritious and satisfying vegetable to eat.

head of cauliflower being sliced
Look for creamy white color
when choosing cauliflower.

Though cauliflower is available year-round, it's more reasonably priced in season -- fall and winter. Look for creamy white heads with compact florets. Brown patches and opened florets are signs of aging. Store unwashed, uncut cauliflower loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator's crisper drawer. Keep upright to prevent moisture from collecting on the surface. It will keep two to five days.

Tips for Preparing and Serving Cauliflower

Remove outer leaves, break off florets, trim brown spots, and wash them under running water. Cauliflower serves up well both raw and cooked. Raw, its flavor is less intense and more acceptable to children. Let them dip it into fat-free dressing.

Steam cauliflower, but don't overcook it. Overcooking destroys its vitamin C and folic acid. Moreover, overcooking gives cauliflower a bitter, pungent flavor. To prevent this, steam it in a non-aluminum pan over a small amount of water, until a fork barely pierces a floret -- about five minutes. Remove the cover soon after cooking begins to release odoriferous sulfur compounds.

Keep reading to learn about the many health benefits of cauliflower.

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