I feel like cauliflower slips under the radar sometimes. It is not an appealing vegetable, as its pale white color cannot compete with its seasonal peers the crimson beets, verdant broccoli, and flame-colored squash.
But the other day I found purple cauliflower at the farmers market. I love white cauliflower too, but the purple variety just looked so much more enticing to me that day, so I had to take some home. Because of its versatility, I knew that I would be making it into soups, roasting it, or even eating it raw.
Cauliflower definitely has its merits, especially when it comes to health. It is a great source of vitamins C (think immunity) and K (think healthy bones), as well as dietary fiber. It is related to broccoli, kale, and cabbage, and like them, is known to play a role in cancer prevention. Its cruciferous compounds inhibit the mitosis of tumor cells, and its antioxidants disarm free radicals. It is also a detoxifier, and helps the liver do its difficult job of neutralizing toxic substances that come into the body.
What I love about cauliflower is the way it tastes. My favorite way to eat it is slow roasted over a long period of time. I simply cut the florets from their "tree", and then toss them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for an hour at 300F. Slowly roasted purple cauliflower, which is subtly sweet and nutty.
Sophia Brittan is a trained chef and the editor of Kitchen Caravan, an online resource for healthy eating and cultural education.
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