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|Life's A Choke Farms|
Cauliflowers leaves range in size from medium to large and are the protective leaves covering the growing cauliflower florets. Color and shape of the leaves fluctuate slightly with each cauliflower plant, varying from a bright, light green to a dark forest green in color. The leaves are thick, fibrous, with a light green center rib. Cauliflower leaves have a bright and fresh cauliflower flavor. They are best when harvested while young and tender to provide the most favorable taste and texture.
Cauliflower leaves are available year-round.
Cauliflower leaves are botanically known as Brassica oleracea var. botrytis. Cauliflower derives from the Latin word “caulis” for cabbage and flower. They were first introduced in North America in the late 1600s where they then made its way to Margaretville, New York in 1891. Cauliflower was such an important part of the livelihood of the citizens in the area that any condition impacting cauliflower growth would make front-page news in the local paper, the Catskill. Cauliflower would thrive in the area until the 1950s when the increase in competition in California would lead to a decline in the cauliflower industry in Margaretville. The city still holds an annual festival to celebrate the cauliflower every summer.
Cauliflower leaves are a good source for both fiber and vitamin C. It also contains a fair amount of vitamin A, folate, calcium and potassium as well as selenium, which works with Vitamin C to boost the immune system.
Cauliflower leaves can be used fresh or cooked. Cauliflower leaves can be steamed, braised, sautéed or used as an ingredient in stir-fry. Brush Cauliflower leaves with extra virgin olive oil and roast until desired doneness. Roasted Cauliflower leaves can be combined with other vegetables to create a roasted vegetable side dish or to make a bed of Cauliflower leaves for your protein. Leave in oven until crispy to create a chip-like snack. Substitute Cauliflower leaves for cabbage or other dark leafy greens such as kale or collards in recipes. Flavor soups and stews by adding chopped Cauliflower leaves. Add Cauliflower leaves into recipes requiring cauliflowers for an additional layer of texture and flavor. Cauliflower leaves pairs well with dill, garlic, soy sauce, pork, chicken, beef, and mushroom. Refrigerate uncooked Cauliflower leaves in the crisper drawer for up to 5 days.
Cauliflower leaves are rarely found still intact on the cauliflower that is purchased in grocery stores due to cosmetic requirements by retailers. The food waste movement has discouraged growers from removing the leaves so that the entire plant may be consumed. The launch of campaigns such as the "wonky fruit campaign" and "waste not want not" has encouraged the European Union to save over 300 million tons of food from going to waste every year because of their less desirable appearances.
Cauliflower originates from the island of Cyprus and spread across Europe, Asia and eventually North America. It was especially popular in the court of King Louis XIV, where he demanded it be served at the banquets in Versailles. Cauliflower is best grown in cool climates and currently thrives in the coastal valleys of California.
Recipes that include Cauliflower Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Green Talk||Roasted Cauliflower Leaves|
|Pure Wow||Cauliflower Leaves|