With my new job rolling along and Big D deep in his ongoing projects we have not been as creative with our food preparation as we are wont to be. The wonderful selection of fruits and vegetables available at the local markets is starting to get me out of my rut. As we settle into our new routine I am getting back into my creative food groove as well. The wonderful cauliflower we found recently does not need fancy preparation, so I kept it simple. If you are looking for a colorful vegetable to brighten up a drab, brown dish, then look no further than purple cauliflower! Little B could not stand to walk away from it at the farmers market without buying a head. Now, you might think the almost toxic color of it must be fake, but it is actually naturally occurring, caused by the same antioxidants that make some cabbage and wine have a purple hue. While cooking it up is similar to the plain white version of cauliflower, the purple stuff seems to be more tender and have a more powerful, nutty, buttery flavor that the white stuff lacks. The color definitely bleeds when cooked, so if you don’t want your whole dish purple, and you want to keep the purple from fading, it is best to cook it separately and use my stand up steaming technique. You can see in the picture that some of the lower florets dropped while being cooked and faded a bit after hanging out in the water. If the stem is too short to hold it above the water you can use a steamer basket. I prepared it simply to balance out a spicy meat dish, but if you want more punch with your purple cauliflower, there are some delicious sounding recipes here. Enjoy your colorful side dish!
1 large head purple cauliflower
1 – 1 ½ cups water
1 tsp salt
Trim bottom of cauliflower stem, but leave the head intact. Place water and salt in large pot that will hold the whole head. Bring water to a boil, then place the cauliflower standing on the stem in the pot. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes, until tender. Serve immediately, either as a whole head (stems will pull off easily) or after cutting into pieces.