Cauliflower is a member of the Brassica or “cole” family, the same as broccoli and cabbage. Its name comes from the Latin caulis ("cabbage") and the word "flower," since the florets we eat are the flowering part of the plant. The first reliable reference to cauliflower can be found in the writings of Muslim scientists in the 12th and 13th centuries, and its florets have long been noticed by mathematicians for their fractal (repeating) patterns. Cauliflower can now can be found in many colors -- not only white, butyellow ("Cheddar"), purple, green and "Romanesco" (a cross between broccoli and cauliflower developed in the 1980s). In the Northeast, cauliflower is available in early summer and again in the fall.
* To store, keep unwashed in a damp cloth or paper towel in a fridge drawer.
* To prepare, pull off any leaves and discard. Brown spots are likely caused by moisture; if desired, scrape off before using. In addition to the florets, you can eat the stem!
* Use as soon as possible, as cauliflower loses its sweetness over time.
*To freeze, cut florets into bite-sized chunks and steam for about six minutes. Drain and cool in ice water. Pack in freezer bags.
RECIPE of the week:
Cauliflower Corn Medley
Cauliflower is high in Vitamin C, folic acid and fiber. Add to those advantages with a dash of turmeric and cumin -- they'll not only add color and flavor, but a ton of other health benefits, too!
* 3 T. grapeseed oil
* 1 tsp. cumin seeds
* 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
* 1 T. ginger, chopped finely
* 1/2 tsp. turmeric
* 1/2 cup bell peppers
* 2 ears corn
* 1 shallot, sliced
* 3 T. cilantro or parsley, chopped
1. Heat oil over medium heat, then stir in cumin seeds. Stir for two minutes, until cumin begins to release scent.
2. Add caulifower, ginger and tumeric, and keep stirring.
3. Add peppers, corn, shallots, and cilantro or parsley. Turn down heat , cover, and let cook for three minutes more.
-- Thanks to Just Food for the cauliflower tips, and Community Cook Louise Noel for the recipe! For more recipes, check out the Corbin Hill blog and Facebook page.