Cauliflower is made up of tightly bound clusters of florets that form a dense head, similar to that of broccoli. Resembling a classic tree in shape the clusters sprout from stems which are attached to a singular central white trunk. The stems and trunk are firm and tender and the florets have a dense yet soft and crumbly texture. Its flavor is mild with subtle nutty and sweet nuances, a taste which is amplified when roasted. The entire cauliflower, its leaves, trunk, stems and florets are all edible.
Cauliflower is available year-round with a peak season during late winter months.
Cauliflower can be eaten raw or prepared in several ways including, steamed, roasted, fried and pickled. To prevent cauliflower and other white-fleshed vegetables such as salsify and celeriac from turning brown before cooking, soak the cauliflower in milk and water with a dose of lemon juice. Cauliflower's relatively mild flavor pairs well with strong spices such as cardamom, cumin, curry, saffron, garlic, onion, ginger, sea salt and pepper. Once boiled or steamed, it can be pureed in to a velvety texture appropriate for soups, side dishes and incorporated into sauces. Use within a few days of purchase for optimal freshness, texture and flavor.