Known as broccoli’s pale cousin, cauliflower offers just as many fantastic health benefits as other members of the cruciferous vegetable family.
Cauliflower is a great source of glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that support optimal functioning of our cardiovascular, digestive, immune, and detoxification systems. Sulfur, the third most abundant mineral in the body, is highly concentrated in the muscles, skin, and bones. It’s essential to processes that create protein for cells, tissues, hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
Research also shows a strong relationship between glucosinolates and the antioxidant properties of cauliflower. Some of the more colorful versions of cauliflower such as Grafiti (purple) cauliflower, have a strong profile of these two powerful plant nutrients. But don’t feel you have to go on a hunt for colored cauliflower; white, the most commonly consumed variety of cauliflower, is rich in nutrients and plays an important role in a whole foods diet.
Cauliflower can be prepared in many ways. It can be roasted, sautéed, steamed, or boiled. Studies have shown equivalent benefits from raw and cooked cauliflower, as long as it’s not overcooked. Sautéed cauliflower is a better option than boiling, steaming or microwaving, which changes its consistency depleting flavor and nutrition. To spice up sautéed cauliflower, add herbs such as turmeric, garlic, or shallot.
Putting Cauliflower Center Stage
Most people think of cauliflower as a side to steak, not the “meat of the meal.” But cut into thick slabs and roasted with spices, this plain vegetable is easily transformed into a flavorful dish. Roasting brings out the subtle nutty flavor of cauliflower. The brilliant colors and flavors of turmeric, ginger, cumin, and cilantro create cauliflower “steaks” that are simple to prepare and fancy enough for a dinner party or to add pizazz to an ordinary family dinner.
Cauliflower Steaks with Cumin, Ginger & Turmeric
1 large head cauliflower
Salt and pepper
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Small handful of cilantro, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Remove leaves and trim the stem end of the cauliflower, leaving the core intact. Using a large knife, cut the cauliflower from top to base into three 3/4-inch-thick “steaks.”
- Season each steak with salt and pepper on both sides. (Reserve any loose florets for another use.)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the cauliflower steaks until golden brown–about 2 minutes on each side.
- Gently transfer the steaks to a baking sheet.
- Whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Brush or spoon the mixture onto the cauliflower steaks.
- Roast in the oven until tender, about 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.