We typically experience cauliflower in floret form — it’s a crudité standby — but cauliflower can be served in so many ways: roasted whole, served sliced as “steaks” or even finely-ground and turned into a pizza crust alternative. Here’s a quick guide to shopping for, storing and prepping this cruciferous vegetable.
How to shop for cauliflower
- Creamy white is the most common color, but if you head to the farmers’ market you may find yellow, green or purple cauliflower. Flavor-wise, they’re all pretty similar—mild, slightly sweet and a little nutty. Look for heads with even color throughout and no brown spots.
- Heads of cauliflower should be heavy for their size and the florets should be tightly packed.
- Inspect any leaves. They should look vibrant, fresh, and green.
How to store cauliflower
- If you purchase cauliflower in a cellophane bag, remove it before storing. Loosely wrap cauliflower in a paper towel then place it in an unsealed plastic bag. It should keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
- Cauliflower florets can be stored similarly—in an unsealed plastic bag with a paper towel enclosed—but they lose their flavor quickly and should be used within 3 to 4 days.
How to prep cauliflower
- The simplest way to remove the core from a head of cauliflower is to cut it into quarters through the stem and then cut the core away from each quarter. Next, use a knife to cut the quarters into florets or break them into florets with your hands.
- It’s easier to wash cauliflower after it’s been cut. Be thorough—dirt can get stuck in the vegetable’s many tiny crevices.