Cauliflower is a cruciform vegetable flower head. It is very similar to broccoli, but with a different flavor. Cauliflower is naturally light green, but will be white if it is kept from the sun. Normally this is done by tying the leaves over the flower head (this operation can also be used to make broccoli light green instead of dark blue-green). A purple variety of cauliflower is sometimes available that turns blue when cooked. It's great for novelty value, but tastes slightly bitter. Cauliflower is useful as generic vegetable matter, because few people have a strong opinion for or against it. Cauliflower tends to have a bland flavor on its own, and can thus absorb a variety of other flavors.
Common ways to eat cauliflower include:
- overcooked and mushy, with a thick covering of cheese sauce
- raw or steamed, in salads or with salt
- cooked as part of a soup or mixed vegetable dish
- roasted, with the head broken into florets, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and put in a roasting pan in a 475° oven for 35-40 minutes