Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Lesson in Cauliflower

Cauliflower.  To me it's almost tasteless.  Bland.  But, I still eat it.  And last fall I decided to grow it.  Little did I know I would learn so much from two little plants.

The first cauliflower started out o.k.


But it started turning pink!  I hurried to research the problem.  Apparently, because the leaves never fully matured, it left the head open to the sun's burning rays.  The sunburned parts turn pink.  The pink is not harmful, although the pink areas are supposedly not as nutritious.  Still, I ate the entire head, pink and all, and it tasted just fine.

The second lesson came from the following:


See the green looking cauliflower?  See the odd shape of the head inside?

If I thought a pink cauliflower was bad, I was really concerned about a green one!  A green one that was starting to look like it had a mind of its own, growing in some strange pattern.

You see, I had purchased both of these as plants, not seeds, and I actually didn't remember (and of course, didn't label) what I had planted.  After having a pink cauliflower, I panicked when I saw a green one!  I should have researched it then, but I didn't.  Thinking the green cauliflower head with the strange pattern was defective, or at least starting to bolt, I didn't take any more pictures, but immediately ate the evidence.

It tasted like cauliflower to me.

Of course, later on I researched it.  It's supposed to be green.  With an odd pattern.  That's because it's a Romanesco broccoli, also known as Roman cauliflower.  Seems it can't make up its mind what it wants to be when it grows up.

The lessons?  Pink cauliflower is sunburned.  Green cauliflower is a different variety.  Enjoy its strange look.  And plant more next fall!


I also harvested just a bit of lettuce.  That is the very last of the plants from my garden planted last fall!

I'm joining Christine and Barbie at The Gardening Blog for Garden Bloggers Harvest Day.

42 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Don't they look pretty? And a part of the pink cauliflower was left when I harvested it, and it grew little yellow flowers, much like broccoli. That was very ornamental!

      Delete
  2. Oh yes - I had that happen to mine last year. I believe you avoid the sunburn by wrapping the leaves over the head (not sure how you keep this down) - this season the caterpillars devoured the big outer leaves - what a shame, but it seems to be recovering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The caterpillars are horrible here this year. Thankfully these were grown over the winter, so the caterpillars missed eating them!

      Delete
  3. I wasn't very successful with Cauliflower - some or other caterpillar moved in and devoured the plants seemingly overnight! Now I stick to herbs and a few faster growing veggies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to find a few companion planting that repel caterpillars. I bet that would help!

      Delete
  4. At least these gardening lessons weren't painful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - no! Scrumptious, actually! :)

      Delete
  5. That's funny! Glad your strange cauliflower was okay after all. : D Looking over your recent photos, your garden looks fabulous!!! Such beautiful flowers and roses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very worrisome to have a pink cauliflower and a green cauliflower and no white ones! :O

      Delete
  6. Romanesco is too beautiful to eat, with those perfect Fibonacci spirals!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that I know what it is, I can appreciate its beautiful pattern. When you don't know what's going on, it's freaky!

      Delete
  7. I didn't realize how pretty the cauliflower plant is. It reminds me of the ornamental cabbage/kale. Glad it tasted good too ... that part sounded like a bit of an adventure. :-) Thanks for sharing your tips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and it was a very big plant. The leaves were huge. They were pretty, though!

      Delete
  8. Great looking cauliflower and lettuce! I've never had success growing cauliflower - mine always had real things wrong with it (ricing, tiny heads, etc.), so I gave up. It's a finicky veggie so you must be doing a great job to grow it so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only tried two plants because I wasn't sure how good it would do. It took a long time for it to take off and start forming heads, but I think I'll try it again next year for sure!

      Delete
  9. And cauliflower is so good for us too. Yours certainly look healthy! I just made cream of caulifower soup last Saturday...so yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cream of cauliflower soup sounds delicious! Not sure how appetizing it might be green though! :)

      Delete
  10. too cold so my garden is still on hold...oh well...love the green one...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you believe all this was from what I planted last fall?! The mild winter we had helped a lot, I'm sure. Sorry it's still too cold for you. I know how anxious you must be to get the vegetable garden started.

      Delete
  11. I did not know it would turn pink from the sun, something knew to learn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was new to me, too! I couldn't believe all the different colors my cauliflower was turning!

      Delete
  12. I love cauliflower. Have you tried "roasting" it? You mentioned you thought it was bland - I thought I would suggest this to you; this method will caramelize the vegetable and bring out the natural sugar/sweetness.

    -Preheat your oven to 425F
    -Break your cauliflower into flowerettes (a bit larger than bite-size) and spread them out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (foil works well too)
    -Dribble the cauliflower slightly with oil (a neutral flavor such as canola) and toss the flowerettes to coat them
    -Bake for 20-25 minutes

    I hope you enjoy it. Happy spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! I've tried roasting broccoli and some other vegetables but never thought about roasting cauliflower! What a great idea! Thanks! I'm definitely going to try that!

      Delete
  13. I didn't know about sunburnt cauliflower. I planted romanesco broccoli seeds and ended up with an assortment of veg ranging from bright purple heads to enormous greens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the romanesco comes in all different colors - purple, green, orange! It's a fun plant! :)

      Delete
  14. I often worry about veg I've grown that I'm unfamiliar with, wondering if its edible etc. Your cauliflower looks really good. Tastes good covered in cheese! Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like anything covered in cheese! ;) I will definitely try growing cauliflower again.

      Delete
  15. That's funny, I had no idea that sunburned cauliflower turned pink! We haven't grown cauliflower here, just cabbage and broccoli. I like the idea of roasting it..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know about the pink tinge until this year. I have never grow cabbage successfully, but I will probably keep trying!

      Delete
  16. You taught me some things about cauliflower, too! I thought the pink and green were pretty! I also think cauliflower is tasteless, but I suspect one picked fresh from the garden is another experience! We still have swiss chard still growing in my fall/winter garden, but everything else is gone. This was my first year to plant a cool season garden. It was so successful that I am only planting peppers and tomatoes for summer and will concentrate more on the cool season vegetables later in the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I expected the garden cauliflower to taste very different, but I really couldn't say I could tell much difference. Maybe it's just my taste buds! I had heard that fall gardens do better here than summer ones because of our heat, and that was my first fall garden. I was very impressed. I will definitely be doing fall gardens from now on!

      Delete
  17. Ha, I never knew that about pink cauliflower! My little kids tried planting cauliflower in their pots last year, but the plants never got around to producing cauliflower (rather hard to do when tended by children who will alternately drown you and neglect you!) I do love cauliflower; maybe someday they will make it in my veggie garden that I have planned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took my cauliflower a very long time to make. So, maybe your kids' just wasn't quite ready.

      Delete
  18. Now I never! Sunburned cauliflower? Sunfactor 50 perhaps? I have tried growing ornamental cabbage, green and pink, but they grew very big and straggly, even if it was through the winter, so it was a one-off. Those green cauliflowers sound interesting :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely understood about the cauliflower getting sunburned. I've already had several sunburns myself this year! :O

      Delete
  19. I had no idea about the pink Cauliflower! Good to know! I have seen/eaten the Romanesco, though. It's funny that you say it has no taste. I find it slightly peppery and fresh--definitely a texture food, though. Enjoy your harvest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did taste a bit 'better', but for me, it wasn't that much of a difference than the store-bought. Certainly not like the difference in the taste of tomatoes!

      Delete
  20. How interesting. I'm glad they were edible! We've not tried cauliflower yet, so this is good information to keep tucked away. We experienced broccoli growing oddly; it was due to the variety and we also had started from plants instead of seed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw these and on a whim decided to plant them. I'm glad I did. Maybe next year I'll try to grow some from seed!

      Delete
  21. Cauliflower is highly under-rated probably because most people cook it to a mush.
    Try stir frying with a little tumeric or turn it into a rich puree with a touch of cream and a dash of nutmeg. It also makes beautiful delicately flavoured soup.
    Easy to grow from seed, but stage your sowings otherwise you'll be like me with 12 cauliflowers all ready at once!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're probably exactly right that I cook it for far too long. Good advice about staging the seed sowing, too. The next cauliflower I grow is definitely going to be made into a soup!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...