Rich in vitamins B and C, potassium, magnesium but also in fiber, cauliflower is one of the lowest-calorie vegetables of the season. In gratin, pan-fried or in salad, the florets are mixed with several savory preparations. On the other hand, do not neglect its leaves and its heart, since everything can be eaten. In addition to being as good as florets, cooking them is an anti-food waste practice to adopt. Even if they require different preparation or cooking, don’t throw away your cauliflower leaves and hearts but enhance them very easily. Above all, it is essential to choose a cauliflower with white florets, without spots and tight, synonymous with freshness.
How to cook cauliflower hearts?
If you are making oven-roasted cauliflower slices, keep your stems when cutting. It will give more hold and texture to the cauliflower. Thicker and harder, the heart of the cauliflower, otherwise called “the trunk”, can be intimidating: we are less daring to cook it. However, it is edible and delicious. With its harder and denser texture, it will need a different preparation than the florets if you are making a velouté or a puree for example. How about a delicious cauliflower soup that’s perfectly in season? Make it with the cauliflower heart which you will leave to cook longer than the florets. But be careful not to overcook it, as overcooking can make the fiber more difficult to digest. Cauliflower hearts are edible raw. For those with a sweet tooth, use your cut cauliflower trunks as an aperitif, to dip in hummus or a seasonal dip for example. Enough to obtain a crunchy and healthy aperitif. Another tip with your trunks: cut them into slices and place them at the bottom of a quiche with bacon and cheese of your choice.
How to cook cauliflower leaves?
Similar to lettuce leaves, cauliflower leaves can be eaten raw in a vinaigrette salad. To avoid wasting the rest of the cauliflower, they can also be used to garnish your salads with easy-to-make crispy chips. In a bowl, mix the cauliflower leaves, a pinch of paprika, 2 tbsp. tablespoons of vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Bake on a baking tray at 190°C for 20 minutes and that’s it. You get crispy, healthy and waste-free chips for your salads. Another possible solution to enhance your salads: ferment the cabbage leaves in a jar for 4 weeks, like Korean kimchi. You will get slightly tangy cauliflower leaves that are perfect in a salad or on toast. A very nice zero waste tip! In a hot version, a good pan-fried cauliflower leaves will do the trick. If you have any left, include them in a savory pie or white rice. It’s hard not to think of the Asian wok with sautéed cabbage leaves and white rice. Add sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, lime, coriander, or even peanut chips. At table !