When I left marketing I figured I was leaving trend reports behind. Imagine my surprise when I learned that vegetables have their own advocacy organizations. How else can you explain the ascendance of humble kale? But the world of food is fickle and a chorus of leading trendologists is now predicting that cauliflower will supplant kale as the fashion food of 2014.
Articles in the South China Post and Huffington Post Canada began touting the virtues of cauliflower starting at the end of 2013. From a health perspective, we could do worse. Cauliflower is a member of a family of cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale) that are high in nutrients including organic compounds called indoles. These include diindolylmethane (DIM), which has shown to support the immune system and help keep hormones, especially estrogen, in balance.
Both kale and cauliflower are low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins — though kale beats cauliflower hands down when it comes to vitamins A, C, and K. What’s drawing folks to cauliflower is its versatility and ability to masquerade as so many other — higher calorie — foods.
Cauliflower can be mashed, grilled, broiled or cut in steaks and barbecued, served on its own or in salad or tossed with herbs, vinegars and oils. For those following a gluten-free food plan, there are many recipes for pizza with cauliflower crust.
With all this hoopla you can expect to see instant cauliflower “mashed potatoes,” cauliflower steaks, and chips. I personally like my cauliflower prepared simply. It was the biggest surprise when I came to roasted vegetables a few years ago. Now I almost never cook it any other way.
We toss our cauliflower in sesame oil and roast it in a 400 degree oven until cooked.
Another approach is to sautee the cauliflower in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. then finish by roasting in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes. Toss with parmesan cheese and chives.
You can bet I’m starting my cauliflower paintings now — perhaps against the 2014 color of the year: Radiant Orchid!