“Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education,” said Mark Twain a long time ago. As a cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower is excellent for balancing the Earthy/Kapha and the Fiery/Pitta, but its high phosphorus content can be gas forming and aggravate the Airy/Vata. Cauliflower is easier than cabbage for people with diabetes to eat. It is also good for weight-reducing diets because it is so low in calories.
The sulfur compounds of this cruciferous vegetable have anticancer and antioxidant characteristics, but they also produce hydrogen sulfide, which has an offensive odor. Cooking cauliflower just until it is soft (and not overcooking it) will bring about the decomposition of these sulfur compounds. The highest amount of calcium of this vegetable is stored in the greens—use them in soups or vegetable stock!
Peak season for cauliflower is November through March. The best quality cauliflower is creamy white or white, clean, heavy, firm, and compact, with outer leaves that are fresh and green. Avoid cauliflower that has the appearance of being granular, speckled, or spotted. A head that is no longer fresh may have yellowing leaves. If the leaves drop from the stalk, it is definitely not fresh.
Refrigerate cauliflower loosely wrapped, stem side up. This prevents moisture from collecting on the cauliflower top and thereby speeding deterioration.