Cauliflower

Cauliflower

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

A fresh head of cauliflower has very white, closely packed florets, and surrounding leaves are fresh and green. Before cooking, all the outside leaves should be broken off. Boiled cauliflower needs a sauce of some kind; cauliflower and cheese have an affinity. Raw cauliflower florets are often served as part of a dish of crudités with garlic mayonnaise.

To cook: Separate florets, leaving no more than about 2.5 cm of stem. Drop into boiling salted water and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Drain, and serve with a cheese sauce or a sprinkling of cheese.

Boiled whole cauliflower: Cut off thick stems and make deep incisions with a sharp knife in remaining smaller stems, so that heat will penetrate them more easily. Sometimes tender young leaves are left on; when lightly cooked they enhance the look of the dish.

Boil head of cauliflower, stem down, in a large pan of lightly salted water, uncovered, for about 15–20 minutes. When stems can be easily pierced with a fork, it is fully cooked. Drain it carefully without breaking off any florets and place on a heated serving platter. Pour on melted butter, mornay sauce or fried, buttered crumbs.

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