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In Season: Cauliflower

Everyday Food, March 2012

The Basics

Anyone could guess that cauliflower and broccoli belong to the same family of vegetables. Like its green sibling, cauliflower is a healthy pick: It's a very good source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Plus, research shows that cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower also contain compounds that can help fight cancer and ward off arthritis.

Buying and Storing

Look for a tight bundle of florets with some fresh-looking leaves attached. Avoid heads with loose, crumbly buds or brown spots. To store cauliflower, cover the florets with a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag with a few holes in it to help prevent condensation. A well-wrapped head will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To Use

Remove the leaves, trim off the tough stem, and cut the florets free from the center core. To use the core, cut it into smaller pieces. Cauliflower is great steamed, roasted, simmered, or sauteed. (For the best flavor, don't overcook it.) Cauliflower's mild, sweet taste makes it a wonderful match for sharp cheeses, fresh herbs, and fragrant spices.

Recipes

Cauliflower-White Bean Dip
Gemelli With Cauliflower, Bacon, and Sage
Roasted Cauliflower With Shallots and Golden Raisins
Cauliflower-and-Cheddar Soup