Cauliflower is very similar to its broccoli cousin in appearance. The head – called a “curd” – is made up of a central stalk with offshoot stems. Each cluster (called a floret or floweret) is formed from unopened buds.
It is the “jacket leaves” that protect common cauliflower’s white color. As the plant grows, the outer leaves encase the head, protecting from the sun and preventing chlorophyll development.
Heads rated small, medium, and large do not differ in taste.
Fresh cauliflower will be creamy white with bright leaves and a firm stem. The florets should be tightly closed with no signs of flowering. Green shoots emerging on the head are acceptable. The large outer leaves are commonly trimmed before shipping.
Refrigerate in the original wrapper or in an open plastic bag, stem side down. Use within 5-7 days. Pre-cut florets should be used within 2-3 days.
Cauliflower may also be blanched and frozen for up to 1 year.
• Broccoli in most recipes.
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