How to Cook Cauliflower



In this article I will show you step by step how to cook and prepare cauliflower. Learn the most important tips for your kitchen and conjure up delicious, fresh and tasty vegetables on your table.

We prepare the cauliflower in its entirety, and I will show you what you can do with the cabbage leaves. In the first part there are many photos and a step by step guide, additionally I have added 10+ ideas for variations.

Finally you will find some recipes from my food blog. Let’s go – I wish you lots of fun and success!

Recipe salmon wrapped in cauliflower leaves

Salmon in the oven, here in a coat of cauliflower leaves with roasted cauliflower refined with almond butter.

1. Preparing and cooking cauliflower

Let’s move quite quickly to the step-by-step instructions…


The hero of the hour is your cauliflower, pay attention to its appearance and freshness when shopping. Sometimes the white florets are still closed with leaves, this is wonderful and a good sign of freshness.

Cauliflower leaves

First take off the outer leaves. Please use a stable cutting board with a non-slip base.

Remove the cauliflower from the leaves

Cut the cauliflower head out of the leaves with a knife.

Cleaning the cauliflower

Next, cut the stem in a circle so that the florets can be easily separated from the stem.

break cauliflower into florets

Cut the florets into smaller or larger pieces depending on how you want them to be prepared.

How are cauliflower florets evenly cooked? The next picture shows the decisive trick…

Cut the stalk of the florets crosswise

Cut the stalks of the cauliflower florets in a cross shape. This way the vegetable florets cook evenly.

Prepared cauliflower florets

You can now cook the prepared cauliflower florets, for this purpose I have listed some variations in the following

2. Cooking Methods for Cauliflower

You can cook and prepare cauliflower in different ways, the most popular methods I show you here…

2.1 Cook cauliflower

Boil the cauliflower in a sufficiently large pot directly in boiling salted water, then pour into a sieve and refine further.

The advantage: This is quick and uncomplicated, the cabbage loses the irritating substances through direct contact with water and is more digestible for digestion.

2.2 Steam cauliflower

Steam the cauliflower in a steamer or in a sieve insert with lid over boiling water.

The advantage: This method promises the least loss of vitamins, the cabbage taste is fully preserved, as are irritating substances.

Cauliflower cooked

Boil or steam the cauliflower, either way the florets land on the sieve…

2.3 Roast Cauliflower

Chop the cauliflower and fry the vegetables directly in a pan with sunflower oil.

The advantage: This is quick and you don’t need a sieve, the taste of the cauliflower develops fantastically.

Cauliflower leftovers roasted in the pan

Roast the cauliflower: Fry the chopped florets directly in hot oil. If your cauliflower florets are larger, start by cooking with some water and a lid (this is what we call steaming cooks), then let the water evaporate without a lid and fry the cabbage as desired.

3. Prepare Cauliflower Leaves

The cauliflower leaves taste delicious, so that this guide is complete, here are the instructions for using the cabbage leaves…

Cauliflower leaves

Sort out the cauliflower leaves, unsightly leaves go into the compost or into the rabbit hutch!

Cut out cauliflower leaves stalk

Place the leaves individually on the board and cut out the stalk.

Cook Cauliflower Leaves

Blanch the cauliflower leaves in boiling salted water and then cool them under cold running water or in ice water. This interrupts the cooking process and preserves the colour.

Cauliflower leaves Mat for the fish coat

I have prepared cauliflower leaves here to coat fish fillets.

Wrap salmon in cauliflower leaf

Wrap the salmon fillet in cauliflower leaf coat. This is a variant for the sensible and “perfect dinner” use of cauliflower leaves.

4. Refining the cauliflower

Before you put your vegetables on the table, I have some ideas for refining and seasoning:

Butter, Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg
Toss the cooked or steamed vegetables in foamed butter and season to taste. You can add a little butter to fried cauliflower before serving.

Breadcrumbs, Butter, Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg
Roast the breadcrumbs in a pan until light brown, let them cool down next to the stove, add butter and season to taste, pour over the vegetables. This preparation is called “with breadcrumb butter”.

Almond Flour, Oil or Butter, Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg
Roast the almond flour, let it cool down, liquefy it with butter or oil and season to taste, pour it over the cooked cabbage.

Almond Leaves, Butter, Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg
Roast the almond leaves in the oven until light brown, alternatively you can use a pan. Let the almonds cool down briefly, add butter and season to taste, pour over the vegetables.

Parmesan, Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg
Season the cooked vegetables, sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Gratinate with Emmental Cheese or other Cheese
Place the vegetables in an oven dish and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover with cheese slices or sprinkle with grated cheese and bake at “grill” level until light brown.

Sauce Béchamel or Sauce Mornay
Swivel the cooked vegetables with the sauce béchamel or in the sauce Mornay, which is a sauce béchamel with cheese, season and serve.

Cream or Soy Cream, Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg
Reduce the cream to half its original volume in a casserole, season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper, add cooked vegetables and toss.

Coconut Milk and Curry
Refine and serve cooked vegetables in a simple sauce of coconut milk, curry, salt, pepper and sugar.

With Saffron
Melt butter in a hot frying pan, season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Add the saffron, toss cooked vegetables in it and serve.

Oils and butter: You can use olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, clarified butter or ghee for refinement!

Herbs: I like to use parsley, thyme, chervil and sprouts depending on the market offer.

Almond flour and butter topping for cooked cauliflower

Almond flour and butter are a great topping for the cauliflower and at the same time a gluten-free substitute for butter crumbs.

5. Frequently asked questions about cauliflower

Under what names is the cauliflower known?

Cauliflower has different names in the German language: Karfiol, Käsekohl, Traubenkohl, Minarett-Kohl und Italienischer Kohl.

How do I recognize fresh cauliflower?

You can recognize fresh cauliflower by its unbroken white florets and the strong foliage.

Why is cauliflower considered healthy?

The super cabbage contains only 25 calories per 100 g, 200 mg potassium, 22 mg calcium and 48.2 mg vitamin C as well as 0.4 mg iron, 0.2 mg vitamin B6 and 15 mg magnesium.

How can I make cauliflower digestible for my stomach and intestines?

Cooking in salt water dissolves many irritants and makes the cabbage easier to digest. If your stomach and intestines are sensitive, you should avoid steaming and frying cabbage and prefer to cook it.

Can I prepare cauliflower whole?

Cook the cabbage in a large pot with salted water for about 15-20 minutes, then lift it out of the water and serve with additions.

How can I tell when the cauliflower is ready cooked?

Prick the cooked, whole cabbage or the cabbage florets with a thin fork. If this is done easily and without much pressure, the cabbage is cooked.

How does cauliflower stay white when cooked?

The addition of salt is completely sufficient, the salt water should taste like sea water, so the cabbage stays white and tastes delicious. Adding milk to the cooking water does not create any additional effect.

How can I cook cauliflower evenly?

The cabbage florets are always cooked earlier than the cabbage stems, therefore cut the cabbage stems in a cross shape before cooking.

6. Recipes Ideas with Cauliflower

Cauliflower gratin, Casserole
Salmon from the oven in cauliflower leaf with almond butter and cauliflower
Roast salmon with cauliflower as side dish
Roast turkey escalope Side dish with cauliflower, broccoli, steamed carrots


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