Cauliflower is a vegetable that must be always present on our tables during the cold season. It belongs to the cabbage family and it is characterized by a very fleshy and flower-shaped central inflorescence, around which there are green leaves: a typical vegetable of the winter season that can be enjoyed raw or cooked, making it very versatile and ideal for different preparations . Besides being a precious ingredient for the preparation of many healthy and tasty recipes, it is also beneficial for our health: it has few calories, about 25 per 100 gr, it is also rich in potassium and vitamin C, which facilitates the absorption of iron contained in it, for this reason it is indicated for those suffering from anemia or for those in convalescence.
Let’s then discover how to cook cauliflower, but also how to choose it and how to clean it.
How to choose and preserve cauliflower
When you buy cauliflower, make sure it is firmly closed and compact, and that the inflorescence is white, firm and without spots, and the leaves must be green, crunchy and not withered. The best times to buy it are spring and winter. Cauliflower is a very delicate vegetable, therefore it deteriorates very easily. To preserve it, remove the leaves and cut the stem. You can also freeze it, after having blanched it and let it cool. Avoid preparing it well in advance as, once cooked, it can be kept for up to 3 days in the refrigerator inside an airtight container.
Before cooking the cauliflower you need to clean it: place it on a cutting board, remove the outer leaves and cut the stem cleanly. Divide the florets, always using the knife, wash them by dipping them in a bowl with cold water for a few minutes and then rinse under running water. Finally let the cauliflower drain into the colander before using it for your recipes.
Usually, once the florets have been cleaned and separated, the cauliflower is cooked in boiling water or steamed for a few minutes. Times vary depending on the size of the pieces: the whole cauliflower is cooked in about 20 minutes, while the florets are cooked in about ten minutes, especially if you prefer crunchy ones.
To cook the cauliflower without odor, often unpleasant, you can use stratagems like adding a few drops of lemon juice in the cooking water, or the zest. Alternatively you can place a cloth soaked in vinegar on the lid or immerse some breadcrumbs in the water. If instead you want it to remain beautiful white even after cooking, add a little milk. Once cooked you can taste the cauliflower simply with oil, salt and herbs, especially parsley, or you can brown it in a few minutes. Then there are those who prefer to taste the raw cauliflower in salads, even if it is less digestible, or marinated.