How to Prepare Cauliflower Florets

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4-08-2021, 10:30
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Cauliflower florets are the smaller pieces of cauliflower that are removed from the cauliflower head as a whole. It is much easier to cook the florets than the entire cauliflower, and you may only need small portions anyway. This article explains how to prepare the cauliflower florets.

Preparation

  1. Purchase a suitable cauliflower. It should be firm, white, free of blemishes or rot, and have compact clusters. The leaves should be fresh, healthy, and green.
  2. Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower. If you want, save the leaves for a vegetable stock, along with the other parts of the cauliflower you would regularly discard.
  3. Turn the cauliflower over so that its stem is facing you.
  4. Slice it off. Reserve if desired for vegetable stock.
  5. Prepare the florets.
    • Hold the cauliflower with one hand.
    • Hold the knife in your dominant hand. Place it at a 45º angle and slice into the smaller stems around the cauliflower. Use a circular motion. The inner stem can be removed as the florets slice away. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/b\/b8\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-5Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-5Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/b\/b8\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-5Bullet2.jpg\/aid1271311-v4-728px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-5Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":307,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":486,"licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/creativecommons.org\/licenses\/by-nc-sa\/3.0\/\">Creative Commons<\/a><br>\n<\/p><p><br \/>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  6. Wash the florets. Place them into a colander and wash under running water.
  7. Cut off any blemishes. Cauliflower often has harmless brown marks from rubbing; simply cut these away. Make sure that dirt is washed off or cut away.
  8. Assess the florets. Are they the right size for your dish now? In many cases, they will still be too large and you'll need halve and maybe even quarter them, depending on what you're using the florets for.
  9. Use as required. Follow some of the methods below for different ways to cook cauliflower.

Method One: Steaming

  1. Bring a large pot containing several quarts of water to a boil. If desired, add 1 cup of milk to kettle. This will help keep the cauliflower white.
    • Optional: Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to the water instead of milk. The lemon juice should also help keep the florets whiter.
  2. Place a vegetable rack above the boiling water. Place the vegetable rack high enough above the water so that the water won't boil over onto the florets.
  3. Drop the cauliflower onto the vegetable rack and reduce heat to medium. Cover cauliflower with a lid.
  4. Steam cauliflower for 4 to 6 minutes, checking after 4 minutes. When a knife pierces the stem of the cauliflower easily, the vegetable is fully cooked. You want the cauliflower to be tender but still slightly crunchy at the core.
    • If you want to steam a cauliflower whole, the process will take about 17 to 20 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Serve!

Method Two: Baking

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F (~204° C) and bring 7 to 8 US quarts (7,000 to 8,000 ml) of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Parboil one head of cauliflower, cut into florets, in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Parboiling simply means quickly boiling, not fully cooking. Remove from water and strain away all water.
  3. Assemble the cauliflower on a baking dish or roasting pan. Into the pan, place:
    • 2 to 3 cloves of coarsely minced garlic
    • Juice from 1/2 lemon {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c7\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c7\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet2.jpg\/aid1271311-v4-728px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":307,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":486,"licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/creativecommons.org\/licenses\/by-nc-sa\/3.0\/\">Creative Commons<\/a><br>\n<\/p><p><br \/>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
    • Olive oil to coat cauliflower evenly {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/9\/91\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet3.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/9\/91\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet3.jpg\/aid1271311-v4-728px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":307,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":486,"licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/creativecommons.org\/licenses\/by-nc-sa\/3.0\/\">Creative Commons<\/a><br>\n<\/p><p><br \/>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
    • Salt and pepper {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/0\/06\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet4.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/0\/06\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet4.jpg\/aid1271311-v4-728px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-17Bullet4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":307,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":486,"licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/creativecommons.org\/licenses\/by-nc-sa\/3.0\/\">Creative Commons<\/a><br>\n<\/p><p><br \/>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  4. Once the oven has reached 400° F, cook the cauliflower in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Take the cauliflower out of the oven and serve.
    • If desired, sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Method Three: Cauliflower with Sauce

  1. Add 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Place the florets of 1 large cauliflower into the saucepan.
  3. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Drain the liquid from the saucepan and measure it. You want about 1 cup of liquid. For each 1/2 cup of liquid, blend in 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch until the starch is no longer visible. Remove the cauliflower from the saucepan and place the liquid back in.
  5. To the liquid, add:
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/9\/99\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet2.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/9\/99\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet2.jpg\/aid1271311-v4-728px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":307,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":486,"licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/creativecommons.org\/licenses\/by-nc-sa\/3.0\/\">Creative Commons<\/a><br>\n<\/p><p><br \/>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
    • 1 tablespoon grated onion (finely chopped shallots are also fine) {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/2\/26\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet3.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/2\/26\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet3.jpg\/aid1271311-v4-728px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":307,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":486,"licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/creativecommons.org\/licenses\/by-nc-sa\/3.0\/\">Creative Commons<\/a><br>\n<\/p><p><br \/>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
    • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/b\/b0\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet4.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/b\/b0\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet4.jpg\/aid1271311-v4-728px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":307,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":486,"licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/creativecommons.org\/licenses\/by-nc-sa\/3.0\/\">Creative Commons<\/a><br>\n<\/p><p><br \/>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
    • Salt and pepper to taste {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/2\/27\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet5.jpg\/v4-460px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet5.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/2\/27\/Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet5.jpg\/aid1271311-v4-728px-Prepare-Cauliflower-Florets-Step-24Bullet5.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":307,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":486,"licensing":"<div class=\"mw-parser-output\"><p>License: <a target=\"_blank\" rel=\"nofollow noreferrer noopener\" class=\"external text\" href=\"https:\/\/creativecommons.org\/licenses\/by-nc-sa\/3.0\/\">Creative Commons<\/a><br>\n<\/p><p><br \/>\n<\/p><\/div>"}
  6. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened. If desired, add in 2 tablespoons (29.6 ml) of capers into the liquid.
  7. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and garnish with chopped parsley.

Tips

Things You'll Need

  • Sturdy work surface
  • Colander or sieve for washing
  • Sharp vegetable cutting knife of a decent size
  • Cutting board
  • Cauliflower
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