Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Purple Cauliflower - Brown Butter Sauce

Purple, Gold and Romanesque Cauliflower


Whole cauliflower
1/2 stick butter
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Clean, core, steam whole cauliflower until tender

2. Melt butter on medium heat, letting the solids settle to the bottom. Remove the solids with a spoon. Continue to heat until it starts to smoke. It's done when it's a clear, dark amber color and just this side of burning.

3. Pour brown butter sauce over steamed cauliflower. Add lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serves 4.

I had a teensy bit of trepidation about eating purple cauliflower we got from Johnson's Backyard Garden at Lakeway Farmer's Market on Sunday. It looks like a bad tie-dye trip from the 60's. Steamed and dressed with brown butter sauce and lemon? Yum!

More than delicious, it's also good for you!

According to a report in the Daily Mail U.K.
Purple, green and gold cauliflower are the results of traditional selective breeding - where different strains have been bred and cross bred until these strains have been created.

While traditionalists may balk at the unusual colors, it is not the first time that plant breeders have changed the appearance of vegetables.

Until the 17th century most carrots eaten Europe were white, yellow or purple. The orange pigment was added by Dutch plant breeders looking for a way to celebrate Holland's royal family.

The last few years has seen the introduction of purple carrots to supermarkets in Britain, along with yellow tomatoes and purple potatoes.

In America, where colored cauliflowers have been available for several years, they have been a big hit with foodies. The orange cauliflower has higher than normal levels of beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that encourages healthy skin.

Tests of the orange cauliflowers found that they contained 25 times the concentrations of beta carotene in normal cauliflowers.

The purple color comes from anthocyanin, which is the same substance found in purple cabbage and red wine; it may help prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting.
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