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A FRESH Point of View: Calling all Cauliflower

Although cauliflower is not the most beautiful vegetable in my department, it is definitely one of the stars.  It is low in fat, high in protein, fiber and all types of vitamins, and it is one of the most versatile vegetables available.

While most people think of creamy white florets at the mention of cauliflower, there are other types that are available at FRESH.  We carry shades of orange, green and purple.  The green shade is called “broccoflower” and comes from a cross between broccoli and cauliflower.  These two vegetables are actually so closely related that they can be easily cross-pollinated. Broccoflower is generally milder, tenderer, and slightly sweeter than either broccoli or caulifower.  As for the orange and purple varieties, the taste is essentially the same as white cauliflower, but the vitamin makeup is quite different.  The orange variety has much more vitamin A while the purple contains more antioxidants (similar to red wine).

Cauliflower can be steamed, baked, sautéed or even fried.  If you haven’t tried it baked or roasted, you are in luck!  We have an easy to prepare cauliflower kit in our cut fruit department that comes with infused oil, shredded cheese and lemon.  You simply place the florets in a baking pan and brush with oil.  Bake to desired tenderness then sprinkle with the cheese and squeeze lemon juice over the top before serving.  It is truly easy and amazing.

If you are feeling in the do-it-yourself mode, check out this recipe from Melissa’s Produce!  It helps overcome the tough texture and potential odor issues that many associate with cauliflower.

Greek-Style Roasted Garlic Cauliflower with Feta Cheese Crust
Serves 4-6

1 head caulifower
1/4 cup pinot grigio
1/4 cup chicken Stock
1 Tbs Greek olive oil
1 Tbs fresh, chopped oregano
7 garlic cloves, chopped
Kosher flake salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely crumbled Cotilla cheese (can substitute with a good Parmigian oreggiano     cheese)
1 Tbs chopped, flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Rinse cauliflower and remove outer leaves. Slice the cauliflower at the base where the florets meet the stalks. Trim down thick stems and remove any brown discolorations; then break apart into florets. Set the cauliflower, stem side down, into a 13 by 9-inch glass baking pan.  Pour wine and chicken broth over cauliflower. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano, garlic, salt and pepper and cover with foil. Sprinkle with oregano and garlic and cover with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until tender.

Place bread crumbs, Cotilla cheese and parsley into a bowl and toss to combine. When cauliflower is tender, remove foil and sprinkle with feta cheese; then top with bread crumb mixture. Place back in the oven until topping is golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.