No, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just got loads of beta-carotene: 25 percent more Vitamin A than other our familiar white cauliflower. It was originally a mutant, discovered in 1970 and bred with its white cousins. The result can be any shade of yellow or orange–as you can see, the one that came in our organic box recently is a pretty vibrant shade!
You’ll sometimes see it called “cheddar cauliflower” but there’s no cheese or cheese taste in it. But it IS creamier and sweeter than its white cousin and of course, it looks mighty cool on the dinner plate. We steamed our orange cauliflower until it was tender, but you can also roast it, mash it, cream it or make a delicious soup from it. This was the first time I’ve ever seen it, much less prepared it, and we were delightfully surprised at the more nuanced taste. In most parts of the U.S. it’s harvested in late August through late November, but in warmer climates, like California, it can be grown year around. Lucky us!
Speaking of cauliflower, you know those dark spots that appear after the head’s been in the fridge a bit? This happens at our house pretty often as I don’t always cook vegetables immediately after I buy them. The discoloration begins as tiny spots that grown bigger in time or after cooking. They are caused by oxidation and they won’t hurt you–but they’re a sign that the cauliflower is reaching is eat-by date. So scrape off those dark spots and cook that baby up! Make it any way you like, but I am partial to steaming them and serving them plain–no seasoning. It’s that yummy. But don’t steam cauliflower too long or it could be a stinky mess. Three to six minutes is usually enough, depending on how tender you like it. We like ours pretty tender.
Fancy colored and weird-looking vegetables are all the rage now. I remember finding a Romanesco broccoli in my organic box a couple years ago and thinking it must have been grown on another planet. But it was tasty.
So how about you? Have you tasted orange cauliflower? What’s the weirdest veggie you make?