Cauliflower is in the brassica family which also includes broccoli, kale, and cabbage. The head of the cauliflower is called a "curd", and it consists of underdeveloped flower buds. It is white because the leaves of the plant protect it from sunlight and prevent photosynthesis.
Cauliflower is considered a good brain food according to the Doctrine of Signature, but it is not as nutrient dense as many other brassicas. It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and it is a very good source of fiber, potassium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also a good source of boron.
In addition to the florets, the stem and leaves are edible and are especially good in soup stocks. Cauliflower contains phytochemicals that release odorous sulfur when heated. To minimize odor and retain texture, cook the cauliflower for only a short time. Uses include:
- Raw in salads or served on vegetables platters with dip
- Sauteed briefly with olive oil, garlic, and your choice of seasoning
- Sliced thin, tossed with oil, and grilled
- As an ingredient in soup, or pureed in creamy cauliflower soup
- Steamed and served with pasta
Refridgerate cauliflower, stem side up, loosely wrapped in a perforated paper or plastic bag. This prevents moisture from collecting on the floret clusters and delays deterioration. It will generally keep for a week. Cooked cauliflower spoils quickly, so consume cooked leftovers within a day or two.