Orange You Glad We Said Cauliflower?

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Knock-knock. Who's there? Orange Cauliflower, that's who! The  warm ochre cauliflower in the west coast TakeHome cases this week is still a relative rarity  in the produce world. Sometimes also called Cheddar Cauliflower, it has no  cheese flavor. This special variety originated from a Cornell University crucifer  breeder in New York. As you may recall, cruciferous vegetables belong to the  Brussels sprouts, kale, boc choy, and cabbage clan.

orange cauliflowerWhat's makes this cauliflower so great? The taste of course. Also the nutrients:  the yellow/orange color in the cauliflower, just as in carrots, yams, and  mangoes, comes from beta-carotene. Our bodies use beta-carotene to make  Vitamin A, which supports our eyesight and overall immune system. Orange  cauliflower contains a least 25% more beta-carotene than white cauliflower.

This cauliflower is a natural hybrid that took three decades to develop from  a chance orange curd found in a field of white Brassica oleracea. This new  vegetable is not GMO, but bred the old fashioned way. Hybrids occur naturally.  Fruit and vegetables from the FruitGuys are never GMO.

Cut off leaves and hard stem. Break or cut into florets. Throw in boiling salted  water for 5 minutes, strain and serve with butter, salt and pepper; or cook down  for a copper-colored soup; or simply steam the florets and serve with peas or  carrots as a color complement.

Fresh-picked veggies always taste best eaten as soon as possible when the  nutrients are at their most potent. Cauliflower can be kept for up to five days in a  loose plastic bag in the crisper section of the fridge. Keep stem down, head up so  moisture does not collect in the florets.

- Heidi Lewis

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