Basic Cauliflower Cookery

Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

To plain-cook cauliflower, steam or microwave to best maintain the light crumbly crispness and milky, nutty flavor. Above all, beware of overcooking. Cauliflower changes quickly to mush, so do not wander away.


To microwave

Wash and trim a small whole cauliflower or a halved large one, following directions for Preparation here. Set in a deep dish with inch water, cover, and cook until almost—but not quite—tender (5 to 6 minutes for pounds trimmed weight). Test by piercing with a knife. Once cooked, let stand, covered, a few minutes. Cook florets the same way, but check after 2 to 3 minutes.

To steam

Following directions for Preparation above, wash and trim a whole cauliflower. Set it stem end down in a heavy pot in ¾ inch boiling salted water. Cover tightly and cook over moderate heat until tender, figuring on about 7 minutes for pounds trimmed weight.