What’s in Season: Cauliflower

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

This fall, welcome cauliflower back into your kitchen: cauliflower.  Distinguished from its mostly green Brassica cousins like Brussels, cabbage, collards, kale, and broccoli, cauliflower is most commonly a creamy white, and is sweet enough to satisfy the starchy component in a meal in both texture and flavor (try our Mashed Cauliflower). Cauliflower is great for absorbing and complementing other flavors, such as curry and other spices, hints of browning from the cast-iron skillet or oven, good-quality olive oil, minced herbs, and chopped toasty nuts. 

Cauliflower is low-carb, low-fat, and offers many nutritional benefits, especially in colored varieties such as orange, which has tons of vitamin A.  If you’re on a health kick, simply wash, core, and trim a head of cauliflower down to its florets to boil or steam with a little salt and pepper. As with all vegetables, steaming retains more nutrients than boiling.

Cauliflower comes in beautiful purples, oranges, yellows, browns, and light greens, (sometimes called broccoflower).  We usually eat the florets, bite-sized pieces from the heads of the plants (called curds), which have been modified to form the tiny, ornamental flowers we know today. Though we have been cultivating this Mediterranean vegetable for centuries, it is still notoriously difficult to grow.  American farmers typically grow Northern European annuals, harvested from summer to late fall.  If you go to a fall or spring farmer’s market, you will likely see green and other colored varieties of mostly Romanesco types, recognizable by their pointy-tipped florets.

In the grocery store, make sure to look for firm, dense heads without spotting, and bright, spritely green leaves (sometimes grocers remove these, but they are protective and are a good freshness indicator).  Cauliflower is best stored in your loosely wrapped refrigerator for about a week.  It can also be blanched and frozen (save the stalks to add a sweet flavor to a vegetable stock).  Some recipes will recommend blanching cauliflower, as in our Marinated Vegetable Salad.

Cauliflower is a great candidate for sautéing, roasting, pickling, incorporating into larger dishes, or serving as part of a vegetable crudité platter with your favorite dip.

For some traditional cauliflower recipes:
Roasted Cauliflower
Leeks and red peppers, onto the baking sheet and into the oven as you make a fast mustard vinaigrette and walk away!

Spicy Penne with Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a great ingredient for pastas and gratins (loves cheese), or for legumes and whole grains like lentils and quinoa!

Cauliflower in soups:
Very Green Soup
Pureed with spinach and garlic – yum!

Apple Cider Butternut Squash Bisque
Featuring a great basic vegetable soup recipe template, with cauliflower or butternut squash as the main ingredient!

For that extra Paula kick, try these original, flavor-popping ideas:

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Grated, cauliflower mixed with egg and cheese forms a tasty, easy, carb-less crust that’s so delicious, you won’t miss the flour!

In Meatloaf
Sauteed and folded into turkey meatloaf!

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Reader Comments:

54321

Your spinach and cauliflower soup called " Very Green Soup" sounds really good. only need to get spinach to make it tomorrow. I am on a low carb diet and my guy is Diabetic so I am looking for low carb meals. I am glad you are putting some on there. I can figure the carb counts out for most. Would be nice if we could get carb counts in a recipe. I know it means more work for your employees, but this would be a great help for diabetics. Hope to see more low carb food from ya. Glad you are back

By kalenapa on March 19, 2014

54321

Paula, I have one of your loaf pans in the green and brown. I tried to buy another size pan but I can't find it anywhere or online. Can anyone help with this?

By Neva Duffy on March 03, 2014

54321

I love your cookie pan but I only want a email just about once a month would be nice there are just to many of they for me. Thanks

By Anonymous on October 22, 2012

54321

Paula, My grandma,my sister and I love Watching your show!

By Cassie Dennis on October 10, 2012

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm