Cauliflower Harvest

Memories of watery boiled cabbage and poorly seasoned cauliflower cheese have done little to endear cauliflower to many people. Not the easiest member of the brassica family to grow cauliflower are highly prized in other parts of the world. Perhaps it’s time for us to give more credit to this versatile veg.

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Growing

Those of you with rich soil and a sunny site will have sown your cauliflower seed in mid-spring. Occasional feeding and watering during dry weather will have formed the heads (flowers) to form and hopefully you protected them against strong sunlight. If so, then around about now you will be harvesting and enjoying your crop.

 

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Harvesting

The key is to harvest your crop when the heads are nice and firm. Before any of the florets start to separate and open. Leave it any longer and the flavour will be weak. Cut in such a way as to leave a few leaves to protect the curds and store in the fridge. The natural protection of the leaves is so much better than a plastic bag and the cauli will remain fresh for about a week.

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Enjoying

Cauliflower and Stilton soup is a wonderful combination, here’s some more ideas:

– Sautéed in butter with almonds
– Serve florets raw as crudites with a creamy dip

– Make cauliflower cheese and use it to top a cottage pie in place of mashed potato
– Steam florets and add to pasta with pesto
– Make a batter, add cumin and dried garlic then dip in your cauliflower florets and fry.
– Whizz florets in a food processor and use in place of couscous.
– Roast seasoned florets or small whole heads in olive oil until golden. Then add some lemon juice and cumin seeds.