Garden-to-table guide to cauliflower

Tips for growing and caring for cauliflower, plus our favorite recipes come harvest time

Homegrown cauliflower

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Julie Chai

Homegrown caulifower

Related to both broccoli and cabbage, cauliflower is the perfect staple in cool months—delicious raw, in soups, roasted, and as a key ingredient in a huge range of dishes.

It grows best in cool, humid regions; where summers are hot, time your planting so that you’ll harvest it well before or well after midsummer, and choose heat-tolerant varieties.

How to plant and grow

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Julie Chai

How to plant and grow

Planting. Start from seed or seedling, and space transplants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows that are 3 feet apart.

Watering. Water regularly, keeping soil moist but not soggy.

More: Learn more about cauliflower

 

How to harvest

Photo by Andrea Gomez; written by Julie Chai

How to harvest

Cut heads when they reach full size (this varies by variety); most are ready in two to three months after you plant the seedlings.

How to cook: Our favorite cauliflower recipes

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Elaine Johnson

How to cook: Our favorite cauliflower recipes

After the harvest, try broccoli romanesco cooked just as you would cauliflower, its closest cousin. (You can make these recipes with either vegetable.)

Roasted Cauliflower with Capers

Instead of baking cauliflower in a classic cream sauce, we’ve sliced it thinly and roasted it (with very little fat) to get a nicely toasted flavor.

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower with Capers

Cauliflower Panko Pakoras

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Elaine Johnson

Cauliflower Panko Pakoras

These classic Indian snacks usually get deep-fried, but in this recipe, they’re coated in crunchy bread crumbs and baked in a hot oven instead.

Recipe: Cauliflower Panko Pakoras

Curried Red Kidney Beans and Cauliflower (Rajma Masala)

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Elaine Johnson

Curried Red Kidney Beans and Cauliflower (Rajma Masala)

If you’ve been thinking about cooking vegan every so often, here’s a great main dish to add to your repertoire.

Recipe: Curried Red Kidney Beans and Cauliflower (Rajma Masala)

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