Sprouting Purple Cauliflower
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Sprouting Purple cauliflower forms long stems at the top of a thick, cruciferous stalk. Instead of a tightly-clustered crown, the thin green stems are multi-branched, about 10 centimeters long, and topped with clusters of small opened purple flowers. The entire Purple sprouting cauliflower, its stalk and florets, are edible. The stems are firm and tender, and the florets have a soft and crumbly texture. Their flavor is mild with nutty, sweet nuances.
Sprouting Purple cauliflower is available in the spring and summer months.
Sprouting Purple cauliflower, also known as Flowering Purple cauliflower, are overgrown heads of cauliflower. The cool-season biennial cruciferous vegetable is botanically known as Brassica oleracea var. botrytis. If there is a sudden heat wave or higher than normal temperatures towards time of harvest, the normally clustered flower stalks will grow, elongate and flower. Purple Sprouting cauliflower is underutilized as a culinary ingredient because it does not always develop.
Sprouting Purple cauliflower is rich in vitamins C and K and folate. It is also a good source of B-complex vitamins, manganese, phosphorus, and fiber and contains some protein, potassium and magnesium. The purple color is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.
Sprouting Purple cauliflower can be used raw or cooked, and in any recipes that call for cauliflower. It is used raw in salads or on crudité platters. It can be steamed, sautéed, roasted, or grilled. It will lose its purple color when heated. Cook for short periods of time to prevent burning. Blanche and serve with butter and herbs or use in salads. Use in pastas, risotto, or stir-fry. Store Sprouting Purple cauliflower in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Sprouting Purple cauliflower is a rare sight in markets and is typically only available at farmer’s markets in areas with warmer growing seasons. To provide a similar product to consumers year-round, the Japanese Tokita Seed Company developed an early sprouting variety called fioretto or biancoli. It is known as ‘sweet sprouting broccoli’ and karifurore in Japanese. Biancoli is widely available in the United Kingdom.
Cauliflower is native to the northern Mediterranean region, eastern Europe and what is now Turkey. It has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. Cauliflower is most popularly grown and consumed in India and Southeast Asia, where nearly three quarters of the world’s cauliflower is produced. It grows well in temperate climates where the temperatures don’t fall below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The purple color of the cauliflower is naturally occurring, as are other pigments like orange and green. Sprouting Cauliflower may be spotted at farmer’s markets or specialty stores.
Recipes that include Sprouting Purple Cauliflower. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Proud Italian Cook||Colored Cauliflower Frittata with Red Pepper, Onions and Brie|
|The Flexitarian||Purple Sprouting Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad with Salsa Verde|
|Dishing Up The Dirt||Cauliflower "Couscous" with Cider Vinaigrette|