I know my Weekly Bite posts are normally filled with much more curious fruits and vegetables like fiddlehead ferns or persimmons, but sometimes a classic veg has to enjoy the spotlight. So this week, cauliflower is in the hot seat, but not just any cauliflower…the white cruciferous vegetable has some brightly hued counterparts that can pretty up your plate in no time at all. Meet the orange, purple and green cauliflower. All are members of the cauli-family and if you ask me, they scream “pick me, pick me!” from the vegetable section. If Dr. Seuss was coming over for dinner, colored cauliflower is what I would serve.
Besides just looking cool, the colored cauliflower is full of healthy goodness. The (oh-so-boring) white variety is highly nutritious with a dose of vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and folate, and it’s considered a super food for its anti-inflammatory benefits and digestive health perks. The colored versions have all of this and more. Show-offs…I told ya!
- The orange cauliflower bouquet contains high levels of beta-carotene and 25 times the level of vitamin A found in a head of white cauliflower.
- Purple cauliflower is full of the energetic antioxidant anthocyanin which is also found in red wine and blueberries.
- The cauliflower broccoli hybrid has lime green broccoflower florets that include a hefty amount of protein. The green goddess has some tummy filling powers along with high levels of vitamin A and C.
The pigmented plants make my heart flutter especially during the spring season where it’s like a piece of Central Park’s garden has made it inside my kitchen. Where can you get the classy colorflower? Companies like Colorful Harvest and Andy Boy harvest the jewel toned cauliflower naturally year round where you can purchase off the grower’s website or in select grocery stores. You won’t even have to keep your eyes peeled because these vegetables have serious pizzazz.
Although you may think biting into an orange vegetable would produce feelings of citrusy joy, the colored cauliflower florets offer the same mild taste and crunch as a head of the white stuff. Although, some cauliflower connoisseurs may beg to differ as many note a hint of sweetness or subtle creaminess that the classic white doesn’t share. Their palates must be exceptionally better than mine. I just like cauliflower and pretty colors so to me the major difference is the appearance it offers to your dishes which automatically makes it more fun to eat a cruciferous.
Be a glutton and gorge yourself in a techni-color dreamland of cauliflower with these inspired recipes:
- Try a lively cauliflower gratin from the minds of the Smitten Kitchen.
- Roasted cauliflower is delicious. Roasted orange, purple and green cauliflower is even better.
- My risotto obsession just grew with the thought of a bowl of creamy rainbow cauliflower risotto.
- We eat purple and red mashed potatoes, why not colorful mashed cauliflower? Kids will go gaga over this (or be freaked out that Barney landed on their plate). Make the simple recipe with any color cauliflower and top with all your favs like turkey bacon and chives.
- Make a vibrant spring potage like this purple cauliflower soup. Imagine it with a few pieces of orange florets. Sports team colors waiting to happen? Maybe??
- Martha (first name basis!) hit a homerun with this broccoflower inspired couscous. Drool.
- Eat colored cauliflower raw in order like you do with M&M’s…first orange, then green, then…am I the only one who does that?
The versatile colored veg can be used interchangeably from recipe to recipe no matter its hue. Just don’t get so excited about the vibrant beauties that you leave the white guy in the dust. The classic still holds a special place in my heart as a favorite vegetable. But don’t be surprised if I soon become a chameleon of orange, purple and green. Conversation starter??
What would you serve Dr. Seuss? Have you ever cooked with or eaten any colored cauliflower? Share your experiences in the comments section below!