I Eat Plants: Purple Cauliflower


I have always hated cauliflower.

I’ve tried to like it.  I’ve tried it different ways, I’ve just never been able to like it.

It’s sad, really.

One of the things I’ve learned as an adult when it comes to vegetables is that it’s not that I really don’t like them; it’s that I’ve never had them cooked well (sorry, mom).  I grew up with a lot of canned vegetables and frozen medleys that just weren’t very good, so is it any surprise I hate so many of them? (I’m The Picky Vegan over on my own blog, if that explains anything).

So last week I found myself at the farmer’s market, and I saw purple cauliflower.  It looked so pretty.  Purple is my favorite color.  I thought to myself, “but I don’t like cauliflower,” but I bought it anyway.  I figured there had to be a way to cook it where I would like it.

So after a bit of googling, I tried the next best thing, and turned to Facebook to ask my friends how they like cauliflower.  I got a surprising number of responses!

Roasted was the most popular suggestion, and the one with which I went, but other suggestions included grilled, raw, steamed and pureed with truffle oil (planning to try that one another day), made in to hummus and drenched with various sauces.  I had been thinking roasted from the beginning, but I was nervous after reading a few reports of very soggy roasted cauliflower.

I lucked out, because our own Seasonal Chef happened to be reading- and she let me know that the key is to use a very hot oven.  So, with the oven at 450F, some salt, pepper and olive oil, I ended up with some very nicely roasted cauliflower!

purple cauliflower


Served over roasted butternut squash soup (my oven got a real workout).

I won’t go as far as to say that cauliflower is my new favorite vegetable, but it was pretty good.  I even have plans to try it again.  It held up nicely as a leftover (reheated in the oven or a toaster oven), which is important for a weekend cook, and it gave me some variety in my diet!  Plus, it was purple.

I thought I noticed a slightly less cauliflower flavor in the purple compared to the regular white variety, but I’d have to make them the same way to say for sure.  Surprisingly, I might actually do that.  And if you knew how much I don’t usually like cauliflower, you’d be surprised too!


About Author

I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan.

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