The Effete Chou-Fleur

Share this post

Cruciferae_familyCauliflower (Brassica oleracea) is just one member of the great Cruciferae family. All of the Cruciferae cousins, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and broccoli, to name but a few, have their antecedents in wild cabbage. If the family Cruciferae were horses, broccoli would be a steady workhorse and cauliflower the showy white Lipizzaner.

The compact heads of cauliflower are called curds. Once these small florets show themselves to the farmer, she gathers their outer leaves together and ties them closed, swaddling the little curd so it looks like Baby LuLu. This “blanches” the curd so it grows up to be a compact, white-headed, refined cauliflower. In Mark Twain’s novel Pudd’nhead Wilson, cauliflower is described as “”nothing but cabbage with a college education.”

The complex, subtle, somewhat nutty flavors can be coaxed out of this lovely vegetable with careful preparation. Of course cauliflower can be eaten raw, though ideally steamed al dente and dunked in cold water. Cauliflower stands up well in stir-fry and gratin. Cheese or béchamel sauce are great complements. Mashed or blended into custard is a very effete dish. One cup of cooked cauliflower is a great low-calorie food at a mere 29. Low in carbs, mashed cauliflower is a great substitute for potatoes. Think of cauliflower as the other white vegetable.

Preparation: Peel away any outer leaves, trim bottom stem. For whiter cauliflower, add a tablespoon of milk or lemon juice to cooking water. Cooking in an iron or aluminum pot will turn this lovely vegetable yellow or greenish.

Storage: Store the flower stem-down in the fridge; cauliflower keeps well for a few days.

Heidi Lewis writes about farms, bees, and fruit from her home in Sonoma County, CA. She's been with The FruitGuys since they were FruitKids.

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent Food articles:

History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018

More recent articles:

Best onboarding practices
May 21, 2019
Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.