White cauliflower is the most popular variety, but colored cauliflower started popping up at farmers markets some years ago and it is becoming an exciting alternative. You could find green (a.k.a Broccoflower), orange and purple varieties, and no, they're not painted or dyed, the unique plum-hue shade is given by the antioxidant anthocyanin, also found in red cabbage and red wine.
But instead of buying a colored cauliflower we thought it would be fun to give some vibrant hues to a white cauliflower. Of course we are using natural dyes, in this case we turned florets bright yellow using turmeric powder, pink using onion skin and purple, from beetroot leaves -- you can use the root for a more dazzling fuchsia, but the leaves are free at the market. Cauliflower has a rather neutral flavor, and to be honest the dyes don't add any flavor, so you might want to mix them in a salad or other meal, to add some magic, or enjoy them on their own with a pinch of salt, sprinkled seeds and olive oil.
1. Gather the ingredients
- 1 cauliflower head
- 2 tbsp of turmeric powder
- a bunch of beetroot leaves
- onion skin
- a few drops of vinegar
2. Take off the florets
Gently remove the florets from the cauliflower head.
3. Prep the dyes
Use one bowl per dye. Place roughly chopped onion skin in one, chopped beetroot leaves in another, and two spoonfuls of turmeric powder in a third bowl. Pour boiling water inside each one. Leave for about two hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Take out the leaves and skin
Take out the leaves and onion skin, leaving the colored water inside the bowl.
5. Dip in the florets
Put some florets inside each bowl and add a few drops of vinegar to help the pigments fix. Leave overnight stirring occasionally.
Drain and use for salads or warm up and serve with a mix of seeds, a pinch of salt and extra virgin olive oil as a side dish.
Photos © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitots