Members of the highly nutritious cruciferous family include broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, collards, kale, swiss chard, cauliflower and romanesco. Each one contains unique nutrients to keep you and your loved ones healthy, and the entire family has well known health benefits.
This unique vegetable contains 25 times the level of Vitmain A of white varieties. This trait came from a natural mutation found in a cauliflower field in Canada in the seventies. Scientists have since used the same strain of mutation to develop more nutritious foods (with increased beta carotene) such as golden rice.
The beautiful purple color is caused by the antioxidant group anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine. Thousands of years ago, some of the very first cauliflower ever eaten was purple!
This morning as we were packing the CSA boxes, the truck pulled up to the back of the market with the rest of the produce for the CSA shares. It was full of vegetables that had been harvested minutes before the truck left our farm in Albion: beets with dirt still clinging to the roots and leaves; dewy heads of cauliflower crowned with crisp leaves cropped short, brilliant purple, orange and soft white peeking through.
There's nothing like standing by the truck as the back door slides up and your faced with giant mounds of perfect vegetables. You immediately want to photograph them, (maybe paint their portrait,) and then cook them up into a number of dishes good enough to pay tribute to their perfection. Here are a few suggestions...
1 head medium Cauliflower
2Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
Break the cauliflower up into one to two inch pieces. Toss the florets with the olive oil, salt, and garlic. Spread on a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown.
An alternative method from Orangette, a food blog.
And if you really want to dress up your cauliflower, this Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart from Smitten Kitchen looks phenomenal!