Cauliflower has been getting a lot of attention in recent years for good reason — this humble veggie has lots of meal possibilities! It can be roasted, mashed, steamed and pulsed, and it’s been making an appearance in classic comfort food preparations from pizza to mac and cheese. Plus, cauliflower is one of the richest, nuttiest tasting vegetables and an excellent source of vitamin C. So whether you're trying to add more vegetables into your day or are looking to avoid grains, put cauliflower on your plate.
How to Select and Store Cauliflower
Cauliflower comes in shades of white, orange, green and purple. (Find out why purple cauliflower opens in a new tab is having a moment!) Cauliflower should have compact florets that are clean and uniform in color with no spots or bruising and firm to the touch. Keep cauliflower in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator in an open or perforated bag — it will keep for several days when kept cold and hydrated. Be careful not to let cauliflower get too wet — excess moisture will cause browning.
How to Prepare Cauliflower
Cut away the main stem and separate florets before washing. Cauliflower can be cooked whole, but this requires a longer cooking time, which results in a loss of nutrients. Rapid cooking is best to prevent nutrient loss and to preserve texture and color. Avoid aluminum pots, which may intensify their cabbage-like cooking odor.
Making the Most of Cauliflower
Sure, we’re longtime fans of the traditional ways of enjoying cauliflower like raw and steamed, but that’s just the start. Here are three creative ways to cook with cauliflower:
Mashed. Mashed Cauliflower opens in a new tab tastes similar to mashed potatoes but with fewer carbs.
Roasted. A whole head of cauliflower can be sliced to create several large slabs that are perfect for roasting like in this Roasted Cauliflower Steaks opens in a new tabrecipe.
Pulsed. Cauliflower is championed among paleo and grain-free eaters as a comfort food for good reason. You can turn a head of cauliflower into a bowl of light and fluffy Cauliflower Couscous opens in a new tab — also called cauliflower rice — with the help of a food processor. (Time-saving tip: Shop for 365 Everyday Value® Organic Riced Cauliflower and the work is done for you!) Add caramelized onions, a pinch of chile powder, or heat and serve like you would with rice as a side dish for beans, curries and stir-fries.
Now that you’ve been acquainted with those popular cooking methods, here are more ways to wow with cauliflower.
Pizza Crusts. The award-winning blog Love & Lemons has a recipe for a pizza crust made from cauliflower opens in a new tab and almond flour worth checking out. Try Jerry James Stone’s recipe for Breakfast Pizza with Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust opens in a new tab. Or flip the script with a dessert pizza like this Chocolate Pizza With a Cocoa Cauliflower Crust opens in a new tab.
Mac and Cheese. There are lots of ways to put a cauliflower front and center in mac and cheese. This Cauliflower with Gluten-Free Cheese Sauce recipe opens in a new tab offers a no-noodle gluten-free twist.
Desserts. Brit + Co curated 13 cauliflower-based dessert recipes opens in a new tab. You’ll find chocolate bars, pudding, brownies, cakes, a fruit dip and more.
Here are some more of our favorites, and if you’re craving more, check out our cauliflower recipe collection opens in a new tab.
Discover even more opens in a new tab expert tips and tricks, recipe ideas and video how-tos: Eat Real Food®