Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage, but differs from being a brassica made from leaves and is instead made up of tiny florets. Typically only the white flowering head of the plant is eaten and is a nutritious vegetable which can be eaten raw, steamed, pickled or stir-fried. Growers have been working hard in recent years to successfully produce baby versions of cauliflowers. They are often easier to handle and taste terrific too.
Right in the midst of the season which runs from April to October you can also find green and purple cauliflower and romanesco, a hybrid of cauliflower and broccoli. All can be cooked in a similar manner, but care should be taken to not over cook as they release an unpleasant sulphur smell.
For a perfect head of cauliflower, look for compact creamy white florets. Loose or spreading florets mean that the cauliflower is too mature. Cauliflowers are crisper and whiter after a recent downpour. Look out for purple cauliflowers, which will revert to green upon cooking and baby cauliflowers that have an intense flavour.
Cauliflower will keep for up 4–5 days in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
Ensure you cut cauliflower florets into even sized pieces for even cooking.
Also in season...
Keep an eye out for...
Herbs: coriander, fresh peppercorns, marjoram, oregano, thyme
Seafood: Blue grenadier, bream, eel, flathead, King George whiting, ling, mud crab, oyesters, perch, praws, red emperor, school whiting, sea mullet, snapper, tuna
Cheese: mature gruyere, aged cheddars, washed rind cheeses
Content provided by Allan Campion and Michele Curtis www.campionandcurtis.com.