Cauliflower, Cauliflower, Sis Boom Bah!

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Open your Take-Home Pack this week and the veggies pop out at you with

a riot of colors like fans at a high school pep rally. Inside you will

find a veritable rainbow of exuberant colors to brighten your meals:

Rainbow chard, gold beets, red potatoes, and the purple noggin of a

particularly fanatical cauliflower. This is not some kid who used

Kool-Aid to dye their hair as a pledge of allegiance to Purple Power -

this is Brassica oleracea, organically-grown cauliflower from Coke

Farm in San Juan Bautista, CA.

Cauliflower comes in a fanfare of colors - white, green, yellow, and

purple. The purple is a hybrid derived from heirloom varieties. The

purple hue is due to flavonoids called anthocyanins that also pigment

red cabbage and red wine grapes. Anthocyanins are antioxidants and

responsible for the health benefits of drinking red wine. Purple

cauliflower cooks in less time than white cauliflower and should be

steamed. If overcooked, the purple color may fade and become a shade

of green.

What else has purple cauli got? Nutrients! Gimme a C! 55 grams per

cup. Gimme a K! 11 grams. Gimme a B6! And folate and fiber! But the

highest scores go to compounds called isothiocyanates, which are

believed to have anti-carcinogenic properties. These are present in

all cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and

brussel sprouts. Go team go!

The vermillion orb in your Take-Home Pack is not a basketball but a

Gold Nugget Squash, aka Oriental Pumpkin. It’s got a pedigree

like the Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club. The

show’s sonorous announcer describes Cucubita maxima of the

Zapallito group as introduced in 1966 by Dr. Holland of the Fargo,

North Dakota Agriculture Experimental Station. The sire is Tapley's

Bush and the dam Buttercup. This robust little squash is a fine

addition to any family and cooks well cut in half (removing seeds)

pierced in several places, and baked hollow side up with a bit of oil,

salt and pepper. Presenting “Gold Nugget.” A blue

ribbon winner.


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