Cauliflower is healthy and low in calories. But when cooking, an unpleasant smell of cabbage often sneaks into the apartment. You can easily avoid this with a trick – and the cauliflower retains its color.
cauliflower, also called cauliflower, cauliflower or black cabbage, is available all year round. Fresh from Germany, the high-fiber vegetables are available from June to November. The color palette ranges from white to yellow to violet. Smaller broccoli-cauliflower hybrids can be found in larger food markets under the names “Asparagus Broccoli” or “Bimi”.
Cauliflower is best cooked whole. Here’s how:
- Remove the outer leaves and cut off the stalk and brown spots.
- Before cooking, place the white cabbage upside down in a bowl of cold water for about ten minutes. This is how snails and small insects come to the water surface.
- Then put it in a saucepan with boiling salted water or broth.
- Scare him off with ice water after about 20 minutes. So the vegetables have more bite – and lots of vitamins.
Tip: Do a cooking test. Use a sharp knife to prick the thickest part of the cauliflower. If you can easily stab it, it is done. If you feel any resistance, he needs something else.
If you want to cook the individual florets of the cauliflower, it is best to do the following:
- Remove the outer leaves and brown spots.
- Either cut out the trunk in a wedge shape or quarter the head and cut out the trunk in the middle, the florets fall apart on their own.
- Shower the florets under cold water, because sand and earth can be between them.
- Cook the florets in boiling water for a maximum of 15 minutes.
The bright white is often lost during preparation – but that doesn’t have to be the case. Cauliflower retains its white color by adding a dash of lemon juice or vinegar to the cooking water. A dash of milk, a teaspoon of baking soda or a tablespoon of flour will also help.
If a laurel leaf also comes into the pot, the typical charcoal smell spreads less strongly in the kitchen. Alternatively, add a dash of wine vinegar to the cooking water.
Unlike many other types of cabbage, cauliflower is stomach-friendly. The vegetables are not only digestible, but also low in calories. 100 grams of cauliflower contain only 23 calories. Since it is also very hydrated, especially those who want to lose weight benefit from the vegetables.
A portion of cauliflower contains a nutritious mix, it is a source of fiber, protein, vitamins C and K and B vitamins, including folate, biotin and vitamin B6. B vitamins are important for the nervous system, for example. It also contains the minerals potassium and magnesium, as well as calcium and phosphorus.
Tip: Pregnant women should calmly put cauliflower on the menu: The vegetables also contain a lot of folic acid and vitamin C. Both are nutrients that you can hardly get enough of during pregnancy.
Cauliflower: There are different versions, including green and purple. (Source: Martin Schutt / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa-tmn)
If you want to do something particularly good for yourself, choose one of the colored cauliflower variants – such as green, orange or dark purple. Because these varieties contain even more nutrients than the classic in white.
However, there is something special about purple cauliflower. You shouldn’t cook it. In doing so, it loses its beautiful color and turns gray. That is not bad, but it does not look nice. You should rather steam it or prepare it as an oven vegetable. This is how it keeps its bright color.
To get a fresh cauliflower, it is best to make sure that the head is firm, white and closed when shopping. The leaves should be green and crisp. Because ragged leaves speak for older goods.
Tip: Eating local vegetables – and waiting for the season for each type of vegetable has several advantages. Vegetables from the region have an optimal degree of ripeness and the short transport routes from the field to the trade ensure a high proportion of valuable ingredients – taste and vitamins are retained.
If the florets from the cauliflower are loose or even form slits, it is no longer fresh. If the cauliflower has black spots, you should stay away from it. This is Alternaria. It is a fungal disease that goes inside very quickly. No cutting out helps.
Cauliflower can be kept in the fridge or cellar for up to a week. Store it in the refrigerator, remove its green leaves, wrap it in kitchen paper and put it in the vegetable drawer.
Romanesco: Because of its shape, it is also called turret cauliflower. (Source: Franziska Gabbert / dpa)
Romanesco is a particularly decorative cultivated form of cauliflower. It combines the advantages of cauliflower without its disadvantages. It is very low in calories, but it contains a lot of vitamin C, folic acid, provitamin A and niacin. The latter is important for protein and fat metabolism. In contrast to other types of cabbage, Romanesco contains hardly any bulking substances and is easy to digest. It also tastes stronger and more intense than cauliflower.
The vegetables with the florets can be cooked, blanched or fried. With a little sugar and lemon juice in the water, it keeps its green color. If the cabbage is very young and tender, it also tastes like raw food.
The sooner you consume Romanesco, the better it tastes. If the outer bracts look wilted or even yellow, you’d better leave them there. Because overlaid Romanesco tastes musty and has lost a lot of its nutrients.
Most people know cauliflower cooked as a side dish – with white sauce. It also tastes raw. To do this, cut the vegetables into small florets or finely chop them. You can peel the stalk and then also plan it. The raw vegetables have a slightly spicy taste.
No pasta, no white flour, no rice: If you want to eat according to the low-carb method, you often have to limit your meal plan quite a bit. For some dishes, cauliflower can be an alternative to rice.
The “wrong rice” goes well with a chicken curry, for example. The best way to shred the cleaned and plucked cauliflower florets is in a food processor. However, make sure that the vegetables do not become too small or mushy. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the cauliflower with a knife.
The low-carb and high-fiber vegetables are compatible with all kinds of preparation – whether in the oven, crispy steamed or cooked in a wok – with many exotic spices. Curry, ginger, garlic, chilli, lime, coriander and coconut oil or coconut milk, for example, set Asian accents.
Indian cuisine also provides a variety of flavors, for example with the Bengali seasoning mix “Panch Phoron”. The spice mix consists of five different unground seeds: black mustard, black cumin, fennel seeds, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Heat ghee or coconut oil and add one or two teaspoons of Panch Phoron. When it starts to smell and crackle, it is ready and can be poured over the previously briefly steamed cauliflower.
Cauliflower puree: The secret of particularly creamy cauliflower porridge lies in the addition of grated parmesan. (Source: Julia Uehren / www.loeffelgenuss.de / dpa-tmn)
This creamy puree made from cooked cauliflower is refined with plenty of freshly grated parmesan and crispy brown fried pancetta. It is a delicious alternative to the classic mashed potatoes if the dish is supposed to have a little less carbohydrates.
If you want to get as many vitamins as possible, gently cook the cauliflower in a steam insert. This cooks the vegetables in steam instead of boiling them.
Ingredients for two to three servings:
- 1 head of cauliflower
- about 60 g parmesan
- 150 g pancetta (Italian bacon)
- 2 EL Butter
- 1 / 2-1 tsp granular broth
- 1 handful of flat-leaf parsley
- Salt pepper
- Remove the leaves from the cauliflower, wash off, cut into large pieces and boil in a large saucepan with water until soft.
- Alternatively, you can steam the cauliflower in steam (with the help of a steaming insert), so more vitamins are preserved.
- Grate the parmesan cheese finely. Fry the pancetta in a pan until crispy brown. Wash the parsley, shake dry and finely chop the leaves.
- Drain the cauliflower and finely puree with a hand blender. If the puree is too firm, add a little hot water. But actually the cauliflower already contains plenty of water.
- Add the butter, the parmesan and about 1/2 teaspoon of granulated broth and stir. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Sprinkle the crispy pancetta and finely chopped parsley over the cauliflower puree.
Cauliflower soup: It is quickly prepared. (Source: Manuela Rüther / dpa)
Cauliflower soup gets interesting aromatic accents with sesame oil, nutmeg and coriander. The preparation time and the cooking time are each 20 minutes.
Ingredients for four people:
- 1 head of cauliflower (cleaned, about 800 g)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 pinch of nutmeg and coriander each
- 650 ml vegetable broth or water
- 300 ml milk
- 1 tbsp black sesame
- 6 slices of toasted bread
- 1 EL Butter
- 1 pinch of ground coriander
- Remove the stalk and leaves from the cauliflower. Cut into thin slices. Heat sesame oil in a large saucepan. Fry the cauliflower over medium heat.
- Add vegetable broth and milk. Season with salt, nutmeg and coriander powder. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand blender. If the soup is too thick, add a little milk.
- Roast sesame seeds in a pan without fat. Debark white bread and cut into even cubes. Melt the butter in a pan, add the white bread cubes and coriander. Roast until the croutons are golden brown.
- Boil the soup briefly before serving. Serve with croutons and sesame. Tip: The soup becomes nice and foamy if you mix in 100 g of whipped cream before serving.