SJMarketSept2017
Martins Apple Chips
SJMarketSept2017

Cauliflower

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Preview of Cauliflower

Available

August 15 - November 15

Harvest Period

August 15 - October 15

Although the classic cauliflower is found predominantly as a large, white vegetable in the brassica family, an orange sport was discovered in the Bradford Marsh area, north of Toronto, in 1970.  Through hybridization with regular cauliflower, today’s orange variety is larger and more flavourful than the original sport, and contains 25% more vitamin A than the white variety.

What to Look For

Select heads that are firm and tightly-flowered, with fine white or creamy white florets and fresh-looking, green leaves. The florets, or bud clusters, should not be loose or separated

Cleaning and Preparation

Cauliflower should not be washed until it is going to be cooked or eaten. First, remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower head. Then cut the stalk at the point where all the stems converge at the bottom of the cauliflower head. The florets can then be easily cut away from the head.

Storage

Store unwashed cauliflower in an open plastic bag or perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To freeze:  Blanche cauliflower in salted water for 2-3 minutes, plunge into cold water, drain, and pack into freezer bags or containers for up to one year. 

Nutritional Information

Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables are well known for their high concentration of cancer-fighting chemicals calls glucosinolates, which when broken down in the body form isothiocynate and indole-3-carbinol phytochemicals.  One half cup of cooked cauliflower provides almost half the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.  Cauliflower is also a good source of vitamins B6, K and folate as well as manganese.

One half cup (62g) of cooked cauliflower provides 14 calories, 0g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g fibre, and 1g protein.

One cup (100g) of raw cauliflower provides 25 calories, 0g fat, 5g carbohydrate, 3g fibre, and 2g protein.

How to Use

Cauliflower can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed or eaten raw. However, to retain flavour and minimize nutrient loss, cauliflower should be cooked quickly and for a short time. Over-cooking causes cauliflower to release sulfurous compounds that produce an unpleasant odor and bitter taste.  Cauliflower is cooked when a fork can just pierce through without causing the florets to fall apart.

Tossed in cheese sauce, a combination of oil, garlic, and lemon zest, or a yogurt based curry, cauliflower makes an impressive side dish.  It can also be cooked and pureed into soups and sauces for pasta.

The surrounding thick, green leaves can be used in vegetable broths or composted.

Varieties

The main varieties grown in Ontario include Snow Crown, Polar Express, Andes, Freemont, Sierra Nevada, Majestic and White Rock.