Earlier this spring, I purchased 6 young plants that were marked as “Brussels Sprouts” but they actually turned out to be cauliflower. It has been a few years since I have planted cauliflower so I found a bit of space to cram them in. I was pleased with the size of these plants, though I wish they had been Brussels or Broccoli. It is not that I don’t like cauliflower. It is just that I prefer the other two and space can become limited in the garden. Later in the week I returned to the garden center and found my Brussels sprouts.
The 6 little plants turned into 6 gorgeous heads of cauliflower!
One of my favorite methods to prepare cauliflower is to steam the florettes to blanch them. Be careful not to overcook. The blanching process is done to break-down the cellulose structure, but not to cook fully. Then, shake off any excess water. It may be necessary to let dry for a few minutes before placing them in hot oil. There is a danger that if you do not get rid of the excess moisture on the florettes, they can pop or splatter when they go into the hot oil. Heat a large pan with a 1/4 inch of olive oil in the base. When the oil is hot, place each florette in the oil and brown them nicely. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. This is a nice summertime vegetable. You can par-cook ahead of time then brown and serve. The cauliflower does not need to be piping hot. The florettes may be served just slightly warm.
Steamed cauliflower is nice when chilled and served with your favorite salad dressing.
You can perk up store-bought cauliflower and ensure it will remain white, by adding a bit of milk to the poaching water.