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.


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.