Cauliflower delivers aroma with a head

His image is modest - and wrongly so. Because cauliflower scores in several categories: It is healthy, tasty and variable in preparation

Fried, steamed, pickled: there are many different ways to prepare cauliflower

© istock / Olga Mitsova

When you talk to Kathy Kordalis about cauliflower, she starts with a daring comparison: “Like the legendary phoenix from the ashes, cauliflower shakes off its reputation as an inconspicuous, cooked side dish.” And Kordalis adds another superlative: “Cauliflower has superpowers “, Says the Australian who lives in London.

She also reveals: “I actually love all types of vegetables. But I particularly like the Brassica family, the cruciferous vegetables from which our cabbage varieties come from. The cauliflower is the most versatile, ”says the cookbook author.

Cauliflower is suitable as a main meal

For years, Kordalis has valued cauliflower as a low-carbohydrate alternative that she fries, steams, chops or purees on the plate. “I discovered that cauliflower is not just a side dish, but can really be the main event at a table. It is substantial enough to be a main meal. And depending on which method you choose for the preparation, it turns into something delicious, ”enthuses Kordalis.

Cauliflower is available all over the world all year round. The color palette ranges from white to yellow to purple. Cauliflower, also called cauliflower, flower or grape cabbage, impresses with its varied preparation: pickled or eaten raw, it enchants with its fresh taste. Under the grill snake it develops a golden brown, crispy skin. Tenderly cooked, it is a real culinary delight that does not deserve to disappear under a powerful cheese sauce in terms of taste. It is a vegetable that literally soaks up aromas and spices and harmonizes with many flavors.

Cauliflower goes well with exotic spices

The spice expert Bettina Matthaei likes to draw inspiration from the world's kitchens for her cauliflower recipes. The recipe developer appreciates the fiber-rich vegetables in all types of preparation: whether in the oven, crispy steamed or prepared in a wok, the cauliflower goes well with many exotic spices. Curry, ginger, garlic, chilli, lime, coriander green and coconut oil or coconut milk, for example, add Asian accents.

Indian cuisine also provides a variety of flavors, for example with the Bengali spice mixture "Panch Phoron". The spice mix consists of five different unground seeds: black mustard, black cumin, fennel seeds, cumin and fenugreek seeds. “You heat ghee or coconut oil and add one or two teaspoons of Panch Phoron. When it starts to smell and crackle, it is ready and can be poured over the cauliflower that has been steamed briefly, ”explains Bettina Matthaei.

The cabbage is very rich in nutrients

Antje Gahl from the German Nutrition Society (DGE) also gives cauliflower good marks from the point of view of nutritional science: A serving of cauliflower contains a nutritious mix, it is a source of fiber, protein, vitamins C and K as well as B vitamins including folate, biotin and vitamin B6, as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium.

The cauliflower is something of a model pupil: It is diverse and changeable in preparation, but not very expensive to store. It can withstand a week in the basement or refrigerator.

In the family cookbook “Queerbeet und kunterbunt” published by the DGE, for example, there is the recipe “Buntes Hirsotto”: 250 grams of millet, 150 grams of peas (fresh or frozen), four carrots and a head of cauliflower (cleaned and cut into small florets) Sauté briefly in rapeseed oil and then simmer for 10 minutes in vegetable stock before swelling for another 15 minutes with the lid closed. With parsley and parmesan it is prepared quickly.

The cauliflower is something of a model pupil: It is diverse and changeable in preparation, but not very expensive to store. It can withstand a week in the basement or refrigerator

Cauliflower salad with wild rice and raisins

Kathy Kordalis' favorite recipes include a salad that combines cauliflower with wild rice and raisins - "a mix of sweet, spicy, nutty and piquant flavors, and also nice and crispy."

While the wild rice with the vegetable stock, a red onion and a small clove of garlic is simmering, put the cauliflower florets on a tray in the oven for 15 minutes (200 degrees, gas mark 6) until they are tender and golden brown. During this time, hazelnuts and yellow raisins are briefly heated in a saucepan with a spoon of sherry vinegar and the juice of half a lemon in butter.

Cauliflower as a carpaccio

A cauliflower carpaccio is recommended as a light summer dish. In addition to cauliflower florets, they include beetroot, radishes, kohlrabi and a pear. For the dressing, a shallot, olive oil, a red chilli pepper (without seeds), a clove of garlic, parsley, lemon and lime juice, soy sauce and maple syrup are mixed.

The thinly sliced ​​cauliflower and the other vegetables, also thinly sliced, are generously marinated in it about 20 minutes before serving.

Maybe Kathy Kordalis' full-bodied comparison isn't as far-fetched as one might think. It is worth rediscovering cauliflower.

Maybe Kathy Kordalis' full-bodied comparison isn't as far-fetched as one might think. It is worth rediscovering cauliflower.