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Cauliflower Season

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Science Cauliflower is part of the cabbage family. Caulis means stalk and Floris means flower. Varieties There are three colors that a cauliflower may be: white, green and purple.

Season October to April

How to Select Choose firm heads with compact flowers. The leaves should be crisp with no yellow on the leaves. The entire head is edible: both leaves and florets.

Preparation Simply wash and cut the cauliflower before eating or cooking. Cauliflower can be boiled, baked or sauteed.

Storage Refrigerate raw for 3 to 5 days. After it is cooked, refrigerate up to 3 days.

Nutritional Qualities Vitamin C and iron.

Trivia Adding 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the cooking water will help maintain the crisp color.

Wine Pairings Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel

Spices Basil, cumin, mace, marjoram, mustard, savory, tarragon, thyme, turmeric.

Equivalencies 1 lb. fresh = 2 1/2 - 3 cups florets, 1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped

Recipes

Cauliflower Salad 1 cauliflower -- cored 1/2 cup olive oil 2 teaspoons garlic -- minced 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1/2 cup black olive -- cured, diced 1/2 cup red onion -- diced 1/2 cup red bell pepper -- diced 3 tablespoons capers -- (in brine) drained

Separate the cauliflower into small florets. Rinse well in cold water and drain. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the florets until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and place them on a towel to drain. Pour the olive oil over the cauliflower and toss to coat well. Add all the remaining ingredients and toss to mix well. let the salad marinate for several hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally, before serving.

Yields: 6 servings

Cream of Cauliflower Soup 2 1/2 cups cold water 10 ounces canned low sodium chicken broth 6 cups cauliflower -- flowerettes 1/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk 1 tablespoon flour 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon white pepper parsley -- minced fresh lemon wedges

Combine water and broth in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add cauliflower; return to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 10 min. Or until tender. Remove cauliflower from broth, reserving broth. With knife blade in processor, add cauliflower. Pulse 8 to 10 times or until cauliflower is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine milk powder, flour, nutmeg, and pepper; add to reserved broth, stirring well with a wire whisk. Add chopped cauliflower and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 min. Or until slightly thickened. Ladle soup into 6 individual bowls; garnish with minced parsley if desired.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Yields: 6 servings

Iberian Cauliflower 1 head cauliflower -- trimmed 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice -- strained 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup garlic -- very finely minced 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Combine cauliflower, salt, lemon juice, and water to cover in a large saucepot, over a moderate flame. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender-crisp. Remove from heat, drain well. Heat olive oil in a small skillet, over a medium flame. Add the garlic, heat and stir for 6-8 minutes, until golden season with cayenne and vinegar. Pour over cauliflower. Arrange onto a serving platter. Serve hot.

Yields: 6 servings

This article was originally published at Suite101.com: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/15184/104790


Jennifer Wickes may be contacted at http://home.comcast.net/~culinaryjen/Home.html CulinaryJen@comcast.net . Click here to view more of their articles. Jennifer A. Wickes is a freelance food writer, researcher and cookbook reviewer. She has written several eBooks, and has had several articles and recipes in printed publications. She is working on her first cookbook.

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