Our cafes’ ingredient of the month: Cauliflower
December is not all about cranberries, mince pies and turkey; it’s also the prime time for cauliflower to be used straight from the fields. As always across our retail sites, we look for menu inspiration in the seasonal change and this month its cauliflower that has become our hero!
So here are five things we want to tell you to expand your vegetable knowledge bank, and five ways we love to use it!
THINGS YOU SIMPLY NEVER KNEW
The head of the cauliflower is actually a form of an undeveloped flower, and if it were not protected by thick leaves for most of its life, the sunlight would stimulate the production of chlorophyll and the flowers would become inedible.
Cauliflowers come in actual colors, including orange, green, and purple. Not a boring, pale purple-lilac kind of color, but full blown '90s-tracksuit’ purple.
Cauliflower is a source of sulforaphane, a compound that attacks cancer cells and slows the growth of tumors. Unfortunately, sulforaphane is a by-product of an enzymatic process that only occurs if you eat raw Cauliflower, because cooking kills the enzymes.
Peter Glazebrook shot to fame (well, a kind of fame, at least) in 2014 when he set a new Guinness World Record for growing the largest cauliflower ever. It weighed 60 pounds, 9.3 ounces and was six feet wide measured across the leaves.
Cauliflower is part of the brassica family, which includes Brussel sprouts, kale and broccoli which were all domesticated from the wild cabbage.
Thanks to the lovely folk at Grunge where we found the majority of these facts.
5 OF OUR FAVOURITE WAYS TO COOK WITH IT
Whole roasted cauliflower - this puts the cauliflower ‘crown’ as a showstopper
Roasted cauliflower and grain salad – this is a great lunch filler
Teriyaki cauliflower tacos – a vegan street food treat
Moroccan spiced cauliflower and almond soup – a true winter warmer
Cauliflower gnocchi – a light carb dinner, which is something we all need once in a while!