Cauliflower should not be washed until it is going to be cut up and used. A suggestion from grandma: “throwing a few chunks of bread into the water when cooking cauliflower will help remove the smell”
After the cauliflower has been cut, soak it in water adding a teaspoon of baking soda or vinegar water to help force any insects out that are lodged within the florets.
Today I made a healthy and tasty first course Pasta with Cauliflower and Green Sauce made with Cauliflower Leaves, At the follow the steps describing how to prepare Cauliflower.
- Remove the stalk from the head by cutting around it with a sharp knife. When the stalk is removed, the core with the florets attached will be remaining.
- Begin to remove the florets by cutting each cluster from the core, leaving a little of the stem with each cluster. If florets are larger than desired, they can be cut down further by cutting each cluster into smaller uniform size pieces. Finish cutting the remainder of the head in the same manner.
- To speed up cooking time, make an “X” in the core of the cauliflower approximately 1/2 inch deep.
- Add 3 quarts of salted water to a saucepan and bring water to a boil.
- Add whole head, core side down, or floret pieces to the boiling water.
- Boil gently, covered or uncovered.
- Cook whole head for 20 to 25 minutes and floret pieces for 5 to 10 minutes.
Check for doneness throughout cooking time by piercing with a fork or the tip of a knife. Cook only until pieces are tender-crisp.
When cauliflower is done, a whole head should be placed on a plate and allowed to sit for a few minutes for the water to drain before preparing to serve.
Florets can be drained by placing in a strainer.