Today's Foodie Feature surrounds a vegetable I've wanted to try for a while now. I've seen it in the grocery store. I've been attracted to buy it because my blood runs PURPLE! I just didn't know very much about it, until now, so I finally decided to give it a shot!
I went straight to a grower's website. Andy Boy produces this jewel-toned variation of regular snow white cauliflower in California and Arizona. Andy Boy is a family-run farm that the D'Arrigo family has kept in business by diversifying in several areas of vegetable production. There are no artificial colors or dyes added.
Green cauliflower is credited with having significant amounts of beta carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and is slightly sweet. The Orange cauliflower is especially high in beta-carotene, with a slightly nutty taste and creamy texture. The Purple cauliflower is recognized for anthocyanins, also found in red cabbage and red wine.
The color change is not a result of genetic modification of the plant, but rather long generations of selective breeding. According the USDA and several UK sources who all agreed, I found a lot of interesting things about the genetic changes that do occur in this fancy cauliflower.
PURPLE - Anthocyanins are responsible for the color of many flower, fruits and vegetables and is also responsible for a gene mutation in cauliflower that allows for the abnormal purple color to express a phenotypical purple color in the curds. When talking about genetics, phenotype refers to the physical appearance that the plant or animal possesses.
ORANGE - Works in a similar manner to the purple, except for an increased amount of Beta-carotenes are present in these mutants! Think about carrots and sweet potatoes, they contain a lot of Beta-carotenes.
GREEN - The lime green cauliflower is sometimes referred to as broccoflower. It is actually higher in protein than cauliflower and broccoli (the normal ones!).
So, I have to give you my recipe for the evening and how I tried out my fancy new produce!!! It's super easy, delicious and if you don't like broccoli and cauliflower this way, well then you're just refusing to try it. It's that good!
Roasted Colorful Broccoli/Cauliflower
2 bunches of broccoli
2 bunches of colorful cauliflower (or white if you want to be boring!)
5 T. of Olive Oil (you can use butter, if you wish)
Cracked Black Pepper
A cookie sheet
- Take the broccoli and cauliflower out, rinse it well and let it dry. The edible portion is the florets, so cut all those off and just give them a nice chop.
- Make sure you cut your vegetables on a different cutting board than your meats!
- Drench in your oil, seasonings and garlic. I eye balled all of these because it's better to cook that way!
- Save the cheese for now.
- Heat your oven up to about 400.
- Place your veggies on the cookie sheet and bake away! I baked mine for about 20 minutes or until tender and slightly crispy.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and give them a couple more minutes in the oven.
- Serve with a nice lean meat and you have an amazing dinner!
Pick some colorful cauliflower out at your local grocer. Give it a try and let me know what you think. My next recipe will be mashed potatoes with a purple cauliflower puree swirled in. Let's be honest - we could all use a little purple swirl in life!