I find it amazing how little of what's available we all eat on a daily basis - a very small percentage. So here's a new adventure in cauliflower, and why it's better for you than the original.
A hazard of being a culinary student is unbridled curiosity. Ask too many questions, get too many answers. I think my current chef has had it up to here with me, and he even encourages this type of behavior.
The latest outlet for my need to know came from the local farm store, Breezy Hill Orchard. They grow beautiful produce in Dutchess County, New York, and also source with other local farms to complete their stock with dairy and meat. The most fascinating find during my last trip was orange cauliflower. Yes, it’s orange, and it’s cauliflower, and it’s all natural.
According to researchers at Cornell University, a genetic mutation allowed for the the vibrant color, and an increase in the amount of beta-carotene in the vegetable. So not only is it prettier than its white sister, the intensely-hued plant is more nutritious.
Sadly for the cauliflower, the first thing I did upon arriving home was cook it. I quickly blanched it in boiling, salted water (a culinary school tried and true technique), made a mornay sauce (a milk-based sauce thickened with flour, finished with cheese and nutmeg), and served it with simple pan-fried chicken tenders. It tastes slightly stronger than the white variety (which is very bland), and knowing there was more vitamin A allows for further enjoyment of the rich-and-tasty-but-not-so-nutritious-sauce.
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