Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family and a first cousin of the broccoli in which they are both served practically the same way. When selecting cauliflower look for ivory white heads and avoid spotted, speckled or bruised heads. Size of heads may vary but this bears no relation to the eating quality.
To prepare cauliflower for cooking, the outer leaves and thick stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible, but are most often discarded. The florets should be broken into similar-sized pieces so they are cooked evenly. After eight minutes of steaming, or five minutes of boiling, the florets should be soft, but not mushy (depending on size). Cooking broccoli can be done in a variety of ways steaming, microwave, and stir-fry are usually the most popular. Unlike broccoli boiling cauliflower may cause the cauliflower to emit asulfurous smell. Cauliflower can be used in a number of dishes including soups, salads, pasta, stir-fries, and as a side dish just by itself. Cauliflower can be eaten raw and is a good way to consume since there is no loss of nutrients to do cooking.