2013-09-26 / Local & State

Time To Enjoy Pennsylvania Cauliflower

It’s cauliflower season in Pennsylvania! While local cauliflower is available in the early summer, the main part of the Pennsylvania crop is harvested from September through November during the cooler fall months. About 100 acres of cauliflower, mostly in small acreages, are grown across the state. Nutritionally, cauliflower is high in vitamin C and fiber as well as the cancer fighting indole compounds, so it is a healthy as well as a delicious vegetable choice for your fall menus. Dietary experts have long recommended including cauliflower and other members of the cabbage family (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, and kale) in the diet regularly, at least several times a week.

Some people object to the odor produced by cooking cauliflower and other cabbage family vegetables. The odor is caused by the release of sulfur compounds as these vegetables cook. While boiling cauliflower in large amounts of water in an open pot will minimize the characteristic strong taste that some object to, it maximizes the loss of nutrients. Steaming, stir-frying, roasting, microwaving or quick cooking in small amounts of water minimizes nutrient loss in the cooking process. Of course, cauliflower can also be enjoyed raw with some dip or in salads.

The following recipes

from the 2013 Pennsylvania
Vegetable Recipe Contest
are tasty ways to include
cauliflower in your menus.
Asian Style Stewed
Serves 8 as a side dish.
Can serve 4 over rice as a
vegetarian main dish. If so,
replace fish sauce with noanchovy Worcestershire
1 head cauliflower
1 1/2 tablespoons canola
or safflower oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped
2 tablespoons chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes -
chopped, (or a 14 1/2– ounce
can of diced tomatoes)
1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 to 3 chopped jalapeno
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup nam pla (Thai fish
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup dry roasted, lightly salted peanuts
2 tablespoons low fat sour
Trim cauliflower into bite
size pieces and heat oil over
medium high heat. Add
onions, garlic, ginger and
sauté for 2 minutes. Add
tomatoes and cook 3 minutes. Stir in coriander,
turmeric and jalapeno. Add
broth, fish sauce and sugar.
Bring to a boil. Stir in cauliflower to coat well. Lower
heat to low-medium, cover,
simmer about 15 minutes.
Stir in greens, peanuts, and
sour cream and serve.
First-Place Prize in the

category submitted by Marilyn Goldfarb, Boalsburg
Colorful Cauliflower Salad
Serves 5
2 cups bite- size cauliflower florets
1 medium green onion,
thinly sliced
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered 2 slices thick-cut bacon,
fried and crumbled
8 Kalamata olives, sliced
1/ 2 cup torn spinach
leaves, lightly packed (curly
leaf preferred)
3 tablespoons Greek salad dressing
3 tablespoons lite mayonnaise 3/4 teaspoon chopped
fresh rosemary
generous grinding of
black pepper
Microwave cauliflower on
high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes until crisp-tender. Rinse
under cold water and then
put into a salad bowl. Add
onion, tomatoes, bacon,
olives and spinach. Make salad dressing by whisking together the Greek dressing,
mayonnaise and rosemary.
Toss all ingredients together with black pepper. Chill
at least 30 minutes before

Submitted by Frances Dietz, York

Roasted Cauliflower


Serves 6 to 8

Got kids who can't stand the smell of cooked cauliflower, or think the only way to eat it is raw, with a bowl of ranch dressing? Surely it's because they've never had roasted cauliflower. Roasting brings out the nutty, irresistible flavor of the veggie. Pairing it with pasta turns it

from a side dish into a main
If you don't have cavatappi, substitute any other short
tubular pasta. I use lemonflavored oil and vinegar from
The Olive Tap (theolivetap.com), which is sold at my
local farmers market.
For roasted caulifower
1 large head cauliflower
(about 3 pounds)
3 to 4 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil (I use Sorrento Lemon Olive Oil from The
Olive Tap)
Zest and juice from 2
Freshly ground black pepper Kosher salt
Freshly ground nutmeg
For pasta
1 pound cavatappi or other short tubular pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted
2 tablespoons balsamic
vinegar (I use Lemon White
Reserva Balsamic Vinegar
from The Olive Tap)
Handful of fresh basil
leaves, cut into thin slivers
Salt and freshly ground
Grated or shaved pecorino, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of
salted water to a boil over
high heat for the cavatappi.
Meanwhile, cut the cauliflower into 1-inch florets, discarding the thick middle
stem. Spread the florets on a
rimmed baking sheet and
toss with the olive oil, coating
each piece. Sprinkle with
lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a good
grind of fresh black pepper;
toss again. Roast, stirring
halfway through cooking
time, until there are lots of
browned caramelly spots, 30
to 40 minutes. Cook the cavatappi according to instructions. Meanwhile, in a large
sauté pan over medium heat,
warm the butter and swirl it
around the pan until it starts
to bubble and smell nutty,
about 2 minutes. Turn off
heat. Drain pasta, reserving a
little of the water. To the pan
with the browned butter, add
the pasta, a splash of the reserved water, the balsamic
vinegar, basil, and half of the
cauliflower, and a pinch or
two of salt. Toss to combine.
Divide pasta among bowls
and top each serving with a
portion of the remaining cauliflower . Add a few grinds of
pepper. Garnish with grated

or shaved pecorino and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Submitted by Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh

Quick Buying Tips for Pennsylvania Cauliflower

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers these tips when buying fresh cauliflower:

Select tight heads with a white or cream appearance.

Avoid heads that are loose, spotted or bruised.

Refrigerate in an open plastic bag.

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