A close relative of broccoli, a good cauliflower has a closely packed head, surrounded by fresh leaves. Bruised and browning heads and loose yellowing leaves indicate that the cauliflower is past its prime. Store in the fridge - loosely wrapped, it'll keep for 4-5 days.
IN THE KITCHEN
Although the florets are sometimes served raw with dips, it's more usual to cook them before serving.
Strip away any outer leaves and trim the base of the stalk beforehand. A whole head should take around 15 minutes to cook when placed in salted cold water and brought to the boil. Florets should take around 3-5 minutes. The trick is in not overcooking it.
Because of its relatively bland flavour, cauliflower works well with sauces and toppings - cheese or tomato sauce, fried breadcrumbs, crunchy almonds or an indulgent hollandaise sauce make good choices.
Small florets can also be dipped in batter and deep-fried - check out Japanese tempura or Indian pakora recipes.
Try using florets in curries, stir-fries and creamy soups.
Ring the changes and make a fluffy cauliflower and potato mash, spiced with grated nutmeg.