FoodLink - Purdue Extension


Brassica oleracea
Available from May to June


White, purple, and orange


When ready to use cauliflower, wash under cold running water. Pull or cut all the leaves from the florets. Use a sharp paring knife to carefully cut off each floret from the main stem. Discard the stem. Cut each floret into smaller spears if desired, or keep them intact.

This video offers tips about cutting cauliflower.

Cauliflower can be eaten raw, microwaved, sautéed, boiled or stir-fried.

Raw: You can eat small florets or spears raw with a dip.Chop florets into tiny pieces and add them raw to any salad for an added crunch.

Microwave: Place a bit of water in a microwave-safe bowl, add cauliflower, put a lid on the bowl, and microwave on high for about 3 minutes. Cauliflower should be fork tender but not soggy and falling apart.

Sauté: Heat a little olive oil, garlic, and salt in a pan, then add the cauliflower and sauté on medium heat. Add a bit of water to the pan at the end to help cook the florets.

Boil: In a saucepan, bring water to a boil, add florets, and cook for about one minute. Then, plunge the cauliflower into cold water to stop the cooking. These barely cooked florets are a great addition to any pasta salad, broccoli salad, or served with a cheese sauce.

Stir-fry: Add cauliflower with other vegetables over high heat. Add harder vegetables like cauliflower and carrots to the pan first. Once these have cooked for a while, add softer vegetables like peppers and zucchini. Season with soy sauce.


Short-Term Storage

Store heads in refrigerator in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel. Alternatively, cut the cauliflower into florets (see above preparation) for easier meal prep later. Cauliflower stored correctly (damp and cool) will last a long time in the refrigerator. Discard if the florets begin to yellow or turn gray, or they become soft or slimy. You can trim the cut ends before use if they start to discolor.

Long-Term Storage

Cauliflower can be frozen or pickled.

Learn how to freeze cauliflower.

Learn how to pickle cauliflower.

Learn more about freezing vegetables.

Quick Fact

Cauliflower is actually a flower that hasn’t fully developed yet.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size

1 cup (100g)







% Daily Value

Total Calories









Dietary Fiber



Total Sugars



Total Fat



Saturated Fat













 24 mg  


32 mg



 o mg








Vitamin A

 0 mg


Vitamin C

 52 mg








Food Safety Tips

Always keep fresh produce away from raw meat and raw meat juices to avoid cross-contamination.

Follow the safe food guidelines for all fresh produce.

Related Resources

Related vegetables include arugula, Brussels sproutscabbage (all types), cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, rutabaga, turnip, horseradish, collards, and watercress.

Cauliflower is a hardy biennial. The head, called the curd, is made of dormant flower buds. The
curd is usually white (snowball type), blanched by pulling the leaves over the head during
growth. Hybrids between broccoli and cauliflower are available with purple or green heads
(“broccoflower”). Purple cauliflower tastes like broccoli if you harvest it before frost, like
cauliflower if you harvest it after frost. The purple color is lost during cooking.

For spring planting, put transplants in the ground 2-3 weeks before average last frost date after the soil has warmed to 50°F.

For fall harvest, plant transplants 7-9 weeks before average first frost date (about mid-August in northern Indiana, late August in southern Indiana). Put transplants further apart than the spacing listed for spring plantings.

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