Are you tired of making a big, crumbly mess each time you encounter a cauliflower? The big, thick head full of florets bound by its core seems almost impossible to cut into without making a clutter of white crumbles all over the counter top.
However, rest assured that it’s quite possible. Read on and learn how to cut a cauliflower including coring as well as cutting into steaks and florets. Moreover, make delicious recipes from this versatile, low carb veggie and savour its rich, nutty and crunchy flavours this winter season.
How to cut a cauliflower:
- Use a sharp knife to chop away the cauliflower leaves from its base.
- Next, cut the cauliflower into quarters.
- Remove the cauliflower stem from the quarters.
- Remove the florets with your bare hands.
- For cauliflower steaks, cut in half.
- Further cut the halves in two ¾ slices each.
Don’t worry if it still sounds confusing, this 10 minute read will definitely help you become a pro in how to cut a cauliflower and all things related!
How to pick a cauliflower?
Here are some of the things to look out for when picking cauliflowers at the supermarket:
- Look for cauliflowers with bright, white heads. Make sure there are no brown spots which are an indicator of sunburn or that the vegetable is old. When cooked, these brown bits impart a bitter flavour.
- Also, make sure that the head of the cauliflower feels heavy for its size and contains florets and leaves that are tightly packed.
- Do not pick soft cauliflowers as they are a sign that the vegetable has started to spoil.
Washing the cauliflower
You need to wash vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli carefully. This is because they have a lot of crevices that are ideal hiding places for bacteria, dirt and germs. Here is what you need to do:
- Fill in your sink with cold water.
- Soak the cauliflower completely in the cold water for a few minutes.
- As an additional step, add one part vinegar to three parts of the cold water before you submerge the vegetable to let germs and debris come out.
- After soaking, lift the vegetable out and put in a colander.
- Rinse under cold water once more.
How to cut the cauliflower in florets
Step 1. Remove leaves and excess stem
The first step in cutting a cauliflower into florets requires removing the leaves from the base of the vegetable. You may use your hands for this task. However, if they are really tough, you may also use a knife to chop them off.
After you are done removing the cauliflower leaves, you may notice that the stem is sticking out. Remove this excess stem. To do this, simply slice it close to the base of the cauliflower.
Remember, the leaves are an edible part of the cauliflower. Instead of throwing them away, you may want to use them in salads or soups, roast them, stir fry or even steam them for eating.
Step 2. Cut into quarters
The next step involves placing the cauliflower head onto the cutting board stem side up or down, whichever provides more stability. Use your non-dominant hand to firmly grasp the vegetable. Next, use a sharp chef knife with the dominant hand to cut the cauliflower into halves, all the way from the crown to the stem or vice versa.
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Step 3. Core the stem
Now that you have four pieces of cauliflower head, you must begin to core the stem from each quarter. Position each quarter, stem side down, on the cutting board. Use a paring knife and hold it at an angle of 45 degrees as you begin to cut off the stems from the quarters.
Step 4. Separate the cauliflower florets
This is the last step of how to cut a cauliflower into florets. In this step, all you have to do is use your bare hands to separate the cauliflower florets from its bunch.
Step 5. Cut florets uniformly
If you feel that the florets are larger than they should be, cut those florets into 2 or 3 pieces to attain uniform sizes.
How to cut cauliflower into steaks
Step 1. Remove the leaves
The first step for creating cauliflower steaks is to remove the leaves either by hand or using a knife to chop them off. For creating steaks, the core must be left intact so do not mess with the core. This is because it holds the cauliflower steaks together.
Step 2. Create a flat edge
For cutting a cauliflower into steaks, begin by placing the cauliflower onto the cutting board with the stem side down. Next, use your sharp knife to cut off a part of the cauliflower from its side. This will help to create a flat edge.
Step 3. Create cauliflower slices
Now that you have a flat edge to begin with, start slicing your cauliflower. Slices should approximately range from ¾ to 1 inches in thickness in order to avoid them crumbling or breaking during cooking.
As a rule of thumb, small cauliflowers yield 2 steaks of the recommended thickness while those that are medium to large yield 3 or 4.
You may notice that the end pieces of your steaks are prone to breakage. This is because there is hardly any core to keep them together. You may push some of them together so that they replicate another steak.
Health benefits of cauliflower
There are a number of health benefits of cauliflower which makes it a delicious, yet healthy vegetable to devour. We have outlined a few health benefits for you:
- The vegetable is rich in fiber, which in turn helps in promoting digestive health and lowers the risk of several chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. Since the vegetable keeps you full, it helps in calorie intake reduction and prevents obesity as well.
- Cauliflower is also found to be rich in antioxidants. These help in reducing body inflammation as well as help protect against chronic diseases as well.
How to store cauliflower
Source: Teaspoon of Goodness
Storing a cauliflower is not a hassle. Just make sure you store it right in order to keep it from spoiling. The first thing you have to do is ensure that you don’t wash the vegetable prior to storing it. This is because moisture leads to discoloration and even spoilage.
In the fridge
Moreover, it is important to note here that these vegetables need air circulation. For this reason, when you store it in the fridge, make sure that the plastic bag is either perforated or loosely closed such that air can circulate.
Once done, store your cauliflower in the crisper drawer of your fridge. The stem-end of the cauliflower should be kept up so that condensation can be prevented from forming on the head.
When you store it this way, your cauliflower will last about 3 to five days.
In the freezer
If you’ve cut your cauliflower, you must store it in the freezer. Storing in the freezer calls for a few additional steps:
- Cut the cauliflower into florets or steaks.
- Blanch the vegetable for two to three minutes in hot boiling water.
- Immerse in a cold ice water bath.
- Drain properly.
- Place the cut pieces on to a sheet pan and store it in the freezer.
- Once frozen, transfer them to a sealed frozen bag.
When you store your cauliflower like this, it will last you about a year at most.
Finally, we have rounded up some of the best cauliflower recipes for you to try:
Cauliflower fried rice
Who knew cauliflowers could be such versatile veggies? The great thing about this dish is that it replaces half of the amount of rice with minced cauliflower, but tastes just as great! Sautéed with sesame oil, eggs and vegetables, this hearty recipe is a must try this winter season!
Cheesy cauliflower pizza crust
Did you know that you could also use these wonder veggies as a substitute for pizza crust? Well, now you do. A little experimenting never hurt anyone and this recipe is a must try for those who crave pizza but don’t want to pack on the pounds.
Yummy cauliflower tots
Ever tried cauliflowers in the form of cheesy nuggets? There is no wonder on the amazing things you can do with this vegetable, right? Try these cheesy florets either air fried or oven baked, whichever you prefer. Either way, these cauliflower tots turn out great each time.
Alas, you have mastered the art of cutting a cauliflower. Now that you have the right tools, guidance, as well as recipes to try on hand, get on with some cauliflower chopping right away!