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3 Ways to Prep Cauliflower

When it comes to versatile veggies, it’s hard to top nutrient-rich cauliflower. Delicious steamed, roasted, sautéed, or grilled, as a side dish, salad, soup, or main course, there’s nothing cauliflower can’t do.  

Cauliflower’s mild flavor and firm-but-delicate texture makes it an ideal low-calorie swap in all kinds of dishes, from rice pilaf to mashed potatoes to pizza crust. For maximum freshness and fridge life, skip the pre-chopped florets and opt for a whole head. Our simple tutorial will show you how to prep it three ways for an endless array of mealtime possibilities.

When choosing cauliflower, look for heads that are firm and tightly closed. A few brown marks are okay but avoid any heads with soft spots, which can indicate spoilage. Once you’re ready to prep, begin by removing any green leaves from the bottom of the cauliflower.

For florets: 
Using a sharp knife, slice cauliflower in half from top to bottom. Cut each piece in half for a total of four wedges. Remove the tough inner core of each wedge. Use your hands to gently separate individual florets, cutting off any excessively large or fibrous stems.

Cauliflower florets are a great addition to stir fries, pastas, grain bowls, appetizer platters, and more. Try adding florets to roasted sheet pan meals for a delicious, fuss-free side dish, or make it a main with this easy vegan-friendly curry with chickpeas and crunchy cashews.

For cauliflower rice: 
Separate cauliflower into small florets or chop into roughly 2-inch pieces. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, stirring occasionally, until all pieces are evenly riced.

Cauliflower rice is a great, low-carb replacement for traditional rice and grains. Serve it as a hearty bed under braises and curries, or stir fry it with veggies and/or meat and egg for easy fried rice. Or take some Moroccan inspiration with warmly spiced shrimp over cauliflower “couscous.”

For cauliflower steaks: 
Begin with a whole cauliflower head and remove the stem. Using a sharp knife, slice from top to stem, creating ¾ to 1-inch-thick steaks.

Sturdy cauliflower steaks can withstand high heat without falling apart, making them ideal for grilling, roasting, and frying. Serve simply with salt and pepper or experiment with your favorite spice blends and marinades. Mild-flavored cauliflower steaks also work well in place of meat or chicken, like in this lightened up version of a crispy crowd-pleaser, cauliflower schnitzel.

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