Oaky, how'd it get that way? Purple and orange cauliflower? Food dye or what?
Turns out it's quite natural, although weird.
Orange cauliflower is descended from a mutant growing in a field in Canada. And it has 25 times the amount of Vitamin A as the plain ol' white. The purple variety gets its color from the same antioxidants as red wine.
All cauliflower is rich in Vitamin C, fiber and folate.
The Raleigh's farmers market had a huge stall overflowing with these colored varieties last week. This Southern girl never had cauliflower growing up, then finally got turned on to it while in college. I remember wearing out one of those wrap-around steam trays you put in the bottom of a pot, steaming cauliflower. It was and is a good substitute for potatoes or rice. It's even good mashed, with lots of butter.
However, watery, mushy cauliflower is awful stuff. Boil the colored varieties and the color bleaches right out. Lesson there? Never boil in water. Besides, the nutrients are lost that way.
Eat it raw, with a creamy dip, or in a green salad.
Better yet, softened just a bit in the oven brings out the sweetness of cauliflower.
So here's how to do cauliflower:
***RECIPE*** I placed florets of both colors in a large roasting pan, drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled on some sea salt, then roasted in a 400 degree oven until crisp tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. The colors stayed true and the flavor was intense, unlike other reports I read.
The kids gobbled up two heads of roasted florets. No leftovers. I call that a culinary hit.