Cauliflower
Mayer Cheese - Nourish Magazine

Has any vegetable had quite as fast a rise up the in fashion list than cauliflower? In only a couple of short years cauliflower has become a hero ingredient on many restaurant menus and across a huge range of cuisine. Raw, riced, roasted, deep friedeven pizza, cauliflower is one of our most versatile ingredients.   

A member of the brassica family, the most common variety is white, but it also comes in purple and green varieties. Add to these baby caulibroccoflower and the caulilini, which are starting to appear, giving you even more choicesThe white variety is available all-year round but at its best in autumn with bright white heads and crisp, green leaves.  

Eat 

The cauliflowers rise in popularity has been due to both its versatility and a texture that can become meaty and is a staple ingredient in many plantbased diets. Roasted, either whole or as florets, with a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper and it becomes beautifully savoury, or add more flavour with the likes of harissatahini or tandoori paste. Dress with fried capers, lemon juice and a scattering of currants or with garlic and Parmesan for European flavours. 

Crumbed, or battered and deep fried, you have nuggets of joy which can be dipped into creamy yoghurt sauces or drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce. 

Riced or cut very finely and you have a carbohydrate free grain replacement which can be cooked and used where you might rice, or left raw and made into tasty salads with the addition of punchy herbs and pops of colour and flavour like pomegranate seeds. 

Finely riced cauli can also be made into a carb free pizza base, perfect for those paleo and keto dieting clients. 

Cauliflower is great pickled either in a thick sauce like a Piccadilly or in larger florets which make a beautiful accompaniment to antipasto, cheese or meat platters. 

And let’s not forget cheese! It’s a classic combo, but instead of disguising cauliflower, the cheese or bechamel sauce should enhance the subtle nuttiness of cauliflower, so ensure you don’t overcook it and choose cheeses with sharp notes. 

Prep 

Caulis are a natural stand out for buying in a pre-processed format, holding their colour and shape well over a long shelf-life. With a range of formats available, including florets, riced and as part of a number of stirfry mixes, this is a perfect vegetable to increase yield while eliminating waste and prep time in the kitchen with one of the Prepared Produce processed products. 

Store 

Choose tight, compact and clean heads which are bright in colour and store these for up to a week in the chiller. 

Varieties 

While white is the most common, cauliflower specialty growers are introducing variants in both colour and florets, like the Romanesco with its highly attractive head of lime green conical shaped florets or the Graffiti with its deep purple florets. 

Caulilini 

In the same vain as the broccoli version broccolini or Slender Stems, caulilini is a sprouting cauliflower with long tender stems and offers chefs and diners something new.  
The sprouting nature of the caulilini exposes the stems to light a normal cauliflower is protected from, and this in turn gives the caulilini a more yellow tinge than normal white cauliflower.