How to cook Cauliflower

How to cook Cauliflower

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Try it raw, separating the head into smaller florets for salads or to eat with homemade dips. You can also steam, boil, fry or roast cauliflower; but make sure you don’t overcook it, as it’s not tasty when soft and mushy. Cauliflower is great with spices and is delicious roasted in cumin and coriander seeds with a bit of dried chilli. The leaves and tender stalks are also edible and can be added, along with the florets, to dishes such as cauliflower cheese.

WATCH: The best cauliflower & broccoli cheese

READ: 5 delicious cauliflower recipes



Cauliflower is a vegetable in the brassica plant family, related to broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale. It’s made up of a cluster of flower buds, which are harvested before they start to open. To keep the bright white colour, the plant’s leaves cover the buds to protect them from the sun. Cauliflower is extremely versatile, and has become a culinary favourite over the past few years as it can be blitzed up into a rice-like texture, mashed, roasted, boiled, or even griddled like a steak.


Cauliflower is available throughout the year.


Cauliflowers should be refrigerated for maximum freshness.

What are the health benefits?

Cauliflower is high in vitamin C, which helps to keep our immune system working properly so we can fight illness and flu. It's also a source of folic acid.80g or eight florets count as one portion towards your 5-a-day.

How to cook cauliflower?

? There are several ways to cook cauliflower . The traditional method of cooking is in a regular saucepan. After boiling, the inflorescences are often used as additional ingredients for second courses, therefore, after being placed in boiling water, they are re-cooked in the form of frying.

The Principles of cooking cauliflower :

  • if you plan to cook cauliflower as a preparatory stage for its preparation, then it is not recommended to cook the ingredient (if you cook the inflorescences completely and then fry them, then they can lose their shape and acquire the consistency of porridge)
  • It is better to check the readiness of the inflorescences before the expiration of the recommended cooking time (sometimes cauliflower cooks faster or, conversely, longer)
  • you can cook cauliflower in a regular saucepan, pressure cooker, multicooker or double boiler (it is better not to use a microwave, but in extreme cases, you can cook cabbage in it too)
  • before cooking, the cauliflower must be divided into inflorescences, rinsed and soaked for a while in slightly salted water (the debris will quickly float to the surface of the liquid and the inflorescences will become absolutely clean)
  • it is not worth cooking and eating cauliflower with signs of rotting (the taste of the dish will be spoiled, the inflorescences will have a too loose consistency, and eating them can be harmful to health)
  • during cooking, cauliflower may darken, so that this does not happen, it is recommended to add a small amount of vinegar during the boiling process of the inflorescences (one tablespoon will be enough in a small saucepan)
  • it is necessary to lay the cauliflower in boiling and slightly salted water (if you put the inflorescences in cold water, then during cooking they may lose their shape and boil)
  • it is necessary to cook cabbage over medium heat (the inflorescences will boil over a minimum heat, and a strong fire will only accelerate the boiling off of the liquid)
  • when cooking cauliflower, it is necessary to take such an amount of water that when the inflorescences are placed in it, they are almost completely immersed in it (when cooking in a multicooker or microwave, the liquid should cover only half of the available inflorescences)
  • after cooking, the inflorescences are laid out in a colander so that all excess liquid flows out of them, after which the cauliflower can be eaten or used for preparing second courses.

When cooking in the microwave, cauliflower is not salted in the first stage of cooking. First, the inflorescences are washed, filled with water and placed in a special container for a microwave oven. The microwave timer is set for 5 minutes. After this time, the workpiece must be salted and boiled again, but with a timer of 4 minutes. The readiness of the cabbage is checked by evaluating its softness.

When cooking cauliflower in a multicooker, the inflorescences are half filled with water and salted immediately. They are cooked in the “Steamer” or “Cooking” mode for 30 minutes. To steam cauliflower, you can use a double boiler or a homemade metal colander and saucepan construction. In the first case, the inflorescences are laid in a special compartment, the liquid is poured into a special container and the usual cooking process is carried out. In the second version, the cauliflower is placed in a colander and placed in a pot of water so that the liquid does not touch the inflorescences. The duration of this process can be different. The readiness of the inflorescences is checked for softness with a knife or fork.

How to Boil Cauliflower Florets

If you have a bag of precut florets, the hardest part of the prep work is already done. If you have a whole head, quarter it with a large knife and then cut away the large portions of stem and chop what's left into individual florets. Rinse the pieces thoroughly in a colander.

Bring enough liberally salted water to cover the cauliflower to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the florets, return the water to a boil and then turn down the burner to medium-high heat. Adding a squirt of lemon juice or 1/4 cup of milk to the water helps the cauliflower end up with a brighter white color.

Cauliflower cooking time varies by the size and freshness of the florets. Boil cauliflower for about five to 10 minutes (possibly a little longer if it's frozen) until it is fork-tender, testing it frequently with a fork to prevent overcooking. The longer it cooks, the softer and mushier it becomes. Drain it and then toss it with some butter or cooking oil, salt and pepper and any other herbs and spices you want to use. Garlic powder and thyme work nicely, as does curry powder, chili powder or Cajun seasoning to add some kick.

Cauliflower by itself is delicious by itself but when roasted, it takes on deeper layers of flavor and sweetness.

Use it alongside your favorite grilled or roasted meats or include as a must have for meatless meals. You can also make it as part of a salad and serve it warm or chilled.

And, for some variety pair it with a variety of herbs and spices, including: curry, paprika, coriander, cumin, garlic, and oregano, to name a few.

You’ll need about two to three pounds of cauliflower for this recipe (small to medium-size head). Slice it in half and then into one-half slice pieces.

Drizzle the cauliflower with extra virgin olive oil,

Cooking Tip: For a delicious twist, try sesame or peanut oil. It’ll take on the flavors of these oils.

Then, sprinkle on fresh ground black pepper and salt. That’s it.

Bake in a 400 degree F oven for approximately 40-45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for five minutes.

And, don’t worry about it falling apart when roasting. Roasted cauliflower retains a somewhat firm appearance despite the heat from the oven.

Serve it warm or allow it to cool. You can even sprinkle on freshly grated parmesan. It’s delicious. Enjoy!

For more delicious vegetable recipes, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe Section and these family favorites:

More Steamed Cauliflower Recipes

Lemony Cauliflower With Hazelnuts and Brown Butter

Quinoa and Cauliflower Kugel With Cumin

Cauliflower and Tuna Salad

Spicy Cauliflower With Ginger, Cumin and Tomatoes

Cauliflower and Red Onion Tacos

Cauliflower Salad With Capers, Parsley and Vinegar

Marinated Cauliflower and Carrots With Mint

Cauliflower, Potato and Quinoa Patties

Tuna, Cauliflower and White Bean Salad

The Most Delicious Way to Eat Cauliflower Leaves

If you haven&rsquot noticed, we&rsquore kind of obsessed with cauliflower. Whether roasted whole, eaten like little steaks or ground into rice or tortillas, there&rsquos never a shortage of the cruciferous veggie in our kitchen. But until very recently, we had no idea we could actually use the leaves instead of just tossing them in the trash. Consider snacking forever changed.

What you need: A head of cauliflower, olive oil and salt.

What you do: Remove the leaves as usual, and cut off the very bottom part of the stem. Wash and dry the leaves carefully, and then place them in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil on top and toss in a few pinches of salt. (Other seasonings could work, too.) Coat the leaves using your hands or a pair of tongs and spread them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the oven at 400°F for about 25 minutes or until they get dark and crispy.

What you get: Chips! Well, a much healthier version of chips that are seasoned to perfection and have a similarly crispy texture to kale chips.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 head (about 2 1/4 pound) cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Mix cauliflower florets and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the cauliflower mixture season with salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower mixture to coat and spread into an even layer onto a jelly roll pan.

Roast in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, turn the cauliflower, and continue roasting until soft, about 10 minute more. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the cauliflower to serve.

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Buffalo 'Wings'

The Spruce / Jolinda Hackett

Do you love the taste of Buffalo wings but crave a healthier, meatless option? These vegan oven-roasted cauliflower buffalo "wings" are smothered in your favorite hot sauce, making them a surprisingly satisfying way to get the taste of pub-style hot wings without the chicken. The florets are coated in a soy milk batter and then baked until tender and golden around the edges then, they're covered with a hot sauce-margarine mixture and returned to the oven to allow the sauce to bake right in.

How to Cook Fresh Cauliflower

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If your only experience with cauliflower is soggy overcooked florets, it's time to try a new cooking method. Since cauliflower is naturally mild, roasting it in a hot oven brings out a rich flavor. For a fast, low-fat cooking method, boil florets just until they're tender or steam them in the microwave. If you'd like to make cauliflower the highlight of your meal, cut it into thick steaks and toss them on the grill until they're tender and charred.

What kind of pan is best for sauteing cauliflower

We prefer to saute the cauliflower in a large non-stick skillet with sloping sides. The sloping sides make it easier for flipping and stirring the cauliflower as it cooks. Our favorite skillet these days is the Le Creuset large frying pan.

You can saute in a cast-iron skillet and that does add a nice flavor but it requires a bit more olive oil and you will want to pay closer attention as to not burn the florets.

Extra tips

How to pick out the perfect cauliflower:

Before you learn about how to boil cauliflower, learn about how to choose the right one.

To pick the perfect cauliflower, look for the heads with cream white florets. It’s better if the head is thick and heavy, and it should have bright green outer leaves. The size of the head doesn’t matter.

The things to avoid when buying cauliflower is any signs of wilting and heads with florets that are brownish because this means that they’re expiring. Also, if the bottom of the head is soft or the florets are flouring, then these are also reasons not to get this cauliflower.

Where do I store freshly bought cauliflower?

After you’ve bought cauliflower, it’s best to leave it unwashed if you’re storing it away for later use. Cauliflower can only be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Store it in the refrigerator with the stem facing down, and keep it in a plastic bag (the bag you bought it in will do.) According to Recipe Tips, the reason the stem should be facing down is because, “this will avoid excess moisture, which causes the cauliflower to deteriorate faster.”

Follow these tips to get the best out of your cauliflower. You don’t want it going to waste!

What if you have leftover cooked cauliflower?

If you’ve cooked more than necessary, then cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. You can enjoy it again with a different meal (or even just have it as a snack) the next day, so it doesn’t go to waste.

What can you do with cooked cauliflower?

You can eat boiled cauliflower in many ways. You can eat it plain, mashed, or puréed. Here are a few different recipes you can try out now that you’ve cooked your cauliflower.

What are the health benefits of cauliflower?

When you’re eating something you know is healthy, you probably want to know what the health benefits are. Well, lucky for you, cauliflower is beneficial to your health. Some of its health benefits include fighting inflammation, balancing hormones, and improving digestion.

Cauliflower also boosts mind and heart health, and it reduces the chances of cancer. This vegetable is filled with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and is also packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s mostly rich in vitamin C. K. Mercola shared that, “one serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.”

Watch the video: Bakina kuhinja - pileće meso sa brokolijem i povrćem chicken with broccoli and vegetables (August 2022).