Brassica oleracear var, botrytis, cruciferaeA garden plant whose primitive ancestor is believed to have originated in Asia Minor, cauliflower was later introduced into Italy, where it underwent several transformations.
BUYING AND STORING
Buying:Choose a cauliflower with a firm and compact head; it should be creamy white and still have its leaves, which should be bright green. The freshness of the outer leaves is the best indication of the freshness of the head. Avoid dull-colored or spotted cauliflower, as well as cauliflower that has started to flower.
Storing:Cauliflower can be kept unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for about 10 days. Cooked cauliflower spoils more quickly and will keep for only 2 or 3 day. The odor and taste of cauliflower become more pronounced as it ages. Cauliflower can be frozen after being blanched for 3 minutes in boiling water. However, this will make it more watery once it is thawed.
Cauliflower is just as good raw as it is cooked. Raw cauliflower can beaten on its own or served with a dip; it is also used in appetizers and salads. Cooked, it can be eaten warm or cold, but it is better if still slightly firm. Good as a vegetable side dish, cauliflower can also be added to soups, stews, pasta, omelets, or quiches. It is excellent topped with a Mornay or hollandaise sauce, or covered with a béchamel sauce and gratineed. Cooked cauliflower can be pureed and added to soufflés and soups. It is also an ingredient in pickles, relishes, and chutneys. Cauliflower is prepared in much the same way as broccoli, with which it is interchangeable in most recipes.
Preparing:Remove the outer leaves and the stalk (reserve them for soups). Keeping the small green leaves. Separate the florets from the main stalk, leaving a part of the stem. The florets can be cut if they are too big; this will shorten the cooking time and ensure uniform cooking. Wash the cauliflower under running water or soak it in vinegar water or salted water to rid it of any insects.
Cooking:Cauliflower cooks very quickly and should not be overcooked, as it tends to fall apart and become pasty, in addition to losing some of its flavor and nutritional value. It requires the same treatment given to other white vegetables. It can be boiled, steamed, stir-fried, or microwaved. When boiling it in water, you can add a piece of bread to the cooking liquid to absorb some of the odor.
Nutritional Information:Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium; it also contains vitamin B6 and niacin. Cooked cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium; it is also a good source of folic acid and contains vitamin B6 and copper. Cauliflower contains citric acid and malic acid and is the most easily digestible member of the cabbage family. Like the other members of this family, it is believed to have cancer-inhibiting properties.
Important Note: The articles presented are provided by third party authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of KhanaPakana.com. They should not be considered as medical advice or diagnosis. Consult with your physician prior to following any suggestions provided.
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