Handling broccoli and cauliflower


December 06, 2006|By Erica Marcus | Erica Marcus,Newsday

Could you please give me some advice about baking broccoli and cauliflower? How should they be prepared, and do they need to be washed first?

To prepare cauliflower: Cut off any leaves at the base of the head, then cut off the stalk so that it is flush with the bottom of the head. Cut head in half, through the core. Using a paring knife, cut out the hard, solid core so you are left with florets with thin stems attached.

Cut (or simply pry) apart the larger pieces into more manageable ones. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl of cold water and then swish around. Cauliflower takes very nicely to baking (roasting).

To prepare broccoli: Slice off the base of the stalk. Using a paring knife, cut off the florets at the top of the head and, as with cauliflower, separate the larger pieces into smaller ones.

Now for the stalk: I just trim off any leaves or bumps. Cut the stalk into 1/2 -inch-thick pieces. Place in a large bowl of cold water and swish around. Broccoli just doesn't take well to baking.

Erica Marcus writes for Newsday.

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