The Easiest Way To Cook Fresh Cauliflower

Cauliflowers often get passed over for more popular members of the cruciferous family such as broccoli or cabbage. However, the vegetable certainly deserves attention. High in vitamins C and K, as well as fiber and potassium, the creamy white vegetable is highly versatile and can be used in everything from cauliflower rice to General Tso's cauliflower.

While cauliflower is mainly appreciated in its roasted form, there are other, easier ways to prepare it. Cauliflower naturally has a mildly nutty, somewhat bitter taste. When it's roasted, that bitterness goes away, emphasizing the sweetness found within the vegetable. Yet, while roasting it is popular, steaming cauliflower will always be the easiest method. That's because it takes cauliflowers 20-30 minutes to fully cook in the oven, compared to only five minutes on the stove.

Additionally, steaming better preserves both the health benefits and taste of cauliflower. Because steaming maintains the vegetable's natural mild taste, you can more easily manipulate the flavor while cooking.

How to make steamed cauliflower more flavorful

Without some work to dress it up, steamed cauliflower can taste quite plain. Try seasoning it during and after cooking to enhance the flavor. Start by removing the leaves and stems from the head and cutting off any bits of the root that remain. After chopping up and rinsing your cauliflower, put it in a pot with a pinch of salt and some water. However, don't let the cauliflower be fully submerged, as we're not boiling it.

Cover the pot and let it steam for five to six minutes. Add a pat of butter to the pot or brown butter in a saucepan to drizzle onto the cauliflower after it's done steaming. 

Cauliflower can also be steamed in the microwave, but don't make the mistake that always leaves cauliflower undercooked. Microwaves work by heating the water molecules in food. Cauliflowers are over 90% water, but you still need to add some to the plate when steaming in the microwave. However you cook the cauliflower florets, once they're tender, drain the water and toss the cauliflower in butter or oil, along with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.