If you’re trying to cut back on carbohydrates, your best ally is a cruciferous vegetable. It's all too often dismissed as something to swipe through dip. But cauliflower can stand in for a variety of starches, including mashed potatoes, rice, and pizza crust. Here's all you need to know about preparing and enjoying cauliflower.
This skinny starch comes with a bevy of added nutritional benefits: While low in calories, cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. The most common variety in the U.S. has protective green leaves and a white head, consisting of bunched-together immature flower buds. But breeders have developed dozens of varieties, including those with purple florets, green florets, and orange florets, which outscore white florets in the vitamin K category. Regardless of color, cauliflower has about 29 calories, making it the caloric equivalent of kale and bell peppers.
Picking and Preparing Cauliflower
Cauliflower’s fresh flavor doesn’t hinge on its size, so small and large heads are equally fine to buy. What you want to avoid are particularly small flowers, as well as flowers that aren’t tightly clustered. Look for unblemished, bright white florets, surrounded by plenty of leaves.
To store cauliflower, stash it in a paper or plastic bag, stem side down. It should keep in the refrigerator for a week. When you’re ready to cook, cut away the outer leaves and slice off the florets at their base.
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Grilling Cauliflower "Steaks"
A recent restaurant rage, a cauliflower “steak” is just a piece sliced off from top to bottom: It looks like a tree silhouette and tastes hearty, especially when cooked on the grill.
If you don’t want to fuss with lengthwise chopping or separating florets from the stem, you can roast the whole head in the oven. The end result is a striking centerpiece for a vegetarian meal, rivaling a rib roast or roast turkey.
Baking with Cauliflower
See how to turn cauliflower into tasty, gluten-free pizza crust.
Other Ways to Prepare Cauliflower
- Utokia's Cauliflower in Bell Pepper and Cheese Sauce
- Cauliflower Couscous
- Cauliflower Squares
- Barb's Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Chef John's Lighter Spaghetti Alfredo
Browse: hundreds of cauliflower recipes.
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