Cauliflower's name is from Latin caulis (cabbage) and flower. Relatives include cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and collard greens. The are all descendants of the wild cabbage. The first reliable reference to cauliflower is found in the writings of the Arab Muslim scientists Ibn al-'Awwam and Ibn al-Baitar, in the 12th and 13th centuries. It gained popularity in France in the mid-16th century. Now there are about 80 different north american varieties. It has a compact head (called a "curd"), with an average size of six inches in diameter, composed of undeveloped flower buds. White cauliflower is the most common. Orange came from a natural mutation found in a cauliflower field in Canada. Green has only been available since the early 1990s. Purple is caused by the same antioxidant group found in red cabbage and red wine. Fact to annoy your friends with: Cauliflower has been noticed by mathematicians for its distinct fractal dimension, predicted to be about 2.8.


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Availability may vary by variety and with weather conditions.

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Storage Tips

  • Store uncooked cauliflower in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a week

  • Store it with the stem side down in order to avoid moisture developing in the florets

  • Cooked cauliflower will last two to three days in the refrigerator

Preparation Tips

  • Can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, or eaten raw.

  • Add leaves and stem to soup stocks

  • To cut cauliflower, first remove the outer leaves and then slice the florets at the base where they meet the stalks

  • Some nutrients may react with iron in cookware and cause the cauliflower to take on a brownish hue. To prevent this, add a bit of lemon juice to the water in which you blanch the cauliflower.

  • Puree cooked cauliflower, add fennel seeds and your other favorite herbs and spices and serve as soup.

  • Cook the cauliflower for only a short time to avoid any sulfurous odors

  • Classic Indian dish is Gobi Aloo (Indian Style Cauliflower with Potatoes)