But, luckily, there are those times when they come with me and provide wisdom and good judgment. This was one of those days.
We usually start in the produce aisle. Seems innocent enough but they really want to put everything in the cart. Since I already know the inventory at home, there's a bit of negotiation. As I was perusing the produce, the kids saw this orange vegetable that looked like cauliflower but was...orange. I'm one of those people who, when faced with an unknown item in the produce aisle, turns her head and looks for the old comforts of carrots and broccoli.
This vegetable was labeled cheddar cauliflower. Both kids enthusiastically pleaded with me to put it in the cart. It was so pretty and orange, I decided to go against my normal grain and buy it. Just looking at it, I thought, well, I can steam it and bake it in the oven with cheddar and some milk. Cheese usually makes everything taste good anyway, and with that name, what else could I do?
When I got home, I was curious. What was the deal with this orange vegetable? This is what I learned:
- It was first discovered in Canada in 1970
- Over the years, it was crossed with a white variety to create a delicious, high vitamin content cauliflower
- The curds contain approximately 25 times more beta carotene (Vitamin A) than white cauliflower
- Cheddar cauliflower is creamier than the white variety making it easy to serve mashed.
Next time you are in your grocery store, consider trying cheddar cauliflower and expanding your horizons.
Cheddar Cauliflower Au Gratin
1 head of cheddar/orange cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup milk
1/4 - 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbl olive oil or melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Steam cauliflower in a steam basket in a pot or a rice cooker. Cool slightly.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
3. Prepare a casserole dish by spraying with non-stick spray or lightly coating with oil or butter.
4. Place cauliflower in dish. Pour milk over and then top with cheddar.
5. Mix breadcrumbs in a bowl with oil or butter, salt and pepper. Place breadcrumbs on top of cauliflower. Bake 15-20 minutes or until breadcrumbs start to brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!