Cauliflower is an extremely healthy and great tasting vegetable, as long as it’s been cooked correctly. For many years, steaming cauliflower has been the people’s choice because of its undeniable health benefits and terrific flavor. Unfortunately, people tend to avoid this veggie because they simply don’t cook it right. Keep reading to discover how to cook cauliflower the right way so you can enjoy it from now on.
Preparing Your Cauliflower
1. The first step is to hit the supermarket. When choosing fresh cauliflower, you’re going to want the leaves to be bright green in appearance with pure white florets. To be more precise, you need to check the base of the cauliflower. Don’t pay any mind to a dirty or spotted top, as long as the base is as bright white as possible. The floret tops of the cauliflower on the outside should be compact. If the florets are loose this can be a key sign that the cauliflower has started going bad and needs to be thrown out.
2. Next, you need to grab a pair of sharp kitchen shears to cut off all of the green leaves around the top of the cauliflower, making sure to cut as close to the base of the cauliflower’s stem as possible. The leaves of the cauliflower can be used as a broth base or simply eaten as greens in salads.
3. To easily remove the florets, use your kitchen shears to cut and remove the large stem where the stem meets the base of the florets. The stem can be used in a broth base just like the greens. Removing the stem is optional, though, so you can actually cut off the florets with the stem still attached if you’d like.
4. To cut the individual florets off the cauliflower, turn the head upside down so that the stem is facing upwards. Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut each of the individual florets off of the center stem at a forty-five-degree angle. Remember to take your time. Make sure to cut off all of the brown discolored parts because they will give your cooked cauliflower a rotten taste and they lack the nutrients that the fresh florets have. If you have small cauliflower heads there’s really no need to cut the florets off individually.
5. The larger florets can either be used as-is or they can be further trimmed. If they are too large they will take longer to cook and your florets will cook unevenly. If you want to trim them down more you can use a sharp kitchen knife to cut them into smaller chunks. Just keep in mind that they should be small enough to eat. Also, it’s important to mention that the shorter the cooking time the more nutrients your cauliflower will contain.
6. Always remember to thoroughly wash your freshly prepared cauliflower florets. Place the florets into a strainer, rinsing them in cold running water. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel when finished. If you find any dirty spots left on the florets, use your fingers to gently wash away the spot. There’s no need for a vegetable brush, a finger should be just fine.
Stove Top Directions
1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Be sure to fill the pot with about two inches of water and boil on high heat.
2. Before you put your freshly cleaned florets in your pot, make sure to place a steaming basket into the pot. No need to worry if you don’t have a steaming basket because you can just use a wire or metal strainer in place of the basket. If you do use a strainer, make sure that it fits over the mouth of the pot and doesn’t tip into your boiling water. This will cause your cauliflower to be soft and soggy and no one likes that.
3. Dump you fresh florets into the basket, making sure to spread them out evenly. The cauliflower should be placed with the tops facing as upright as possible. Try to put the florets into a single layer, but if you have to have more than a single layer, make sure the layers are as even as possible.
4. Cook your florets in a covered pot so the steam is able to build up. When the florets are finished cooking they shouldn’t be mushy, but they should be tender enough so that you can push a fork right through them. To cook the cauliflower florets, make sure your lid is over your steaming basket or strainer. You need the steam to build up so the florets will cook properly, which cant happen if steam can escape.
5. Serve and enjoy!
Now that you have learned the correct way to steam cauliflower, you can explore other great recipes. In fact, why don’t you incorporate cauliflower into your dinner tonight? Your family won’t only be impressed, but they’ll be grateful for the delicious, healthy food, as well.