Whole Living Daily

Cauliflower Surprise: Purple and Orange Farmer's Market Finds

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I've never been much of a cauliflower girl. The "albino trees," as I called them growing up, never appealed to me -- maybe because the majority of cauliflower served at my house was raw florets, in salads or with dip.

But recently it's been my quest to experiment with new local veggies, and I couldn't turn down the beautiful specimens -- purple and orange! -- we found at the farmer's market a few weeks ago. After all, I've pretty much decided that anything can be delicious when roasted with olive oil and garlic. Plus, the cauliflower recipes in November's Whole Living looked so good, I couldn't help but be tempted.

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1 What do I do with cauliflower? Great question!

2 Our golden and purple cauliflower looked so beautiful sliced up on our cutting board!

3 Surprise! Cooking the cauliflower turned the water purple.

4 This dish looks like a lot of pata, but much of it is actually veggies!

5 Dinner was served with a salad of zucchini ribbons, onion, and serrano peppers.

6 A few days later, we roasted the rest of our cauliflower and served it with a whole fish and scallops. And yes, we shared this enormous plate!

7 Thanks to Whole Living for the recipes, and to the farmer's market for the delicious veggies!

The farmer who sold us the cauliflower told us that "purple cape" and golden "cheddar" varieties are sweeter than the white, although I can't say I noticed too much of a difference. It's clear, though, that they do have different and higher concentrations of nutrients like beta carotene (vitamin A) and cancer-fighting anthocyanins.

As expected, the cauliflower was delicious and added a nice burst of color to our plates (see slideshow above). Next, I'd love to try using the purple kind for cauliflower-puree-mashed "potatoes." Have you used colored cauliflower for anything fun?

Fun Fact: I learned, as I was researching colored cauliflower, that the yellow/orange variety started with a genetic fluke. Scientists discovered one lonely brightly colored mutant plant in the late '80s, and began cross-breeding it in hopes of commercializing it. Oh, and check out these 7 Odd-Colored Foods, too!

Amanda MacMillan is Whole Living's web editor. Follow her on Twitter at @amaconamac.

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