Cauliflower recipes and tips: How to cook fall's most versatile vegetable

/ Source: TODAY
Judy Kim / TODAY

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.

Three creative ways to serve cauliflower

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.

Check out our fall produce guide for everything you need to cook in season!

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.

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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.

Cauliflower recipes

Cauliflower steaks with lime yogurt

Roasted cauliflower steak with einkorn and crispy sage

Cauliflower pizza with roasted vegetables and pesto