Orange cauliflower?

December 9, 2015

No, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just got loads of beta-carotene: 25 percent more Vitamin A than other our familiar white cauliflower. It was originally a mutant, discovered in 1970 and bred with its white cousins. The result can be any shade of yellow or orange–as you can see, the one that came in our organic box recently is a pretty vibrant shade!

You’ll sometimes see it called “cheddar cauliflower” but there’s no cheese or cheese taste in it. But it IS creamier and sweeter than its white cousin and of course, it looks mighty cool on the dinner plate.  We steamed our orange cauliflower until it was tender, but you can also roast it, mash it, cream it or make a delicious soup from it.  This was the first time I’ve ever seen it, much less prepared it, and we were delightfully surprised at the more nuanced taste. In most parts of the U.S. it’s harvested in late August through late November, but in warmer climates, like California, it can be grown year around. Lucky us!

Speaking of cauliflower, you know those dark spots that appear after the head’s been in the fridge a bit? This happens at our house pretty often as I don’t always cook vegetables immediately after I buy them. The discoloration begins as tiny spots that grown bigger in time or after cooking.  They are caused by oxidation and they won’t hurt you–but they’re a sign that the cauliflower is reaching is eat-by date. So scrape off those dark spots and cook that baby up!  Make it any way you like, but I am partial to steaming them and serving them plain–no seasoning. It’s that yummy. But don’t steam cauliflower too long or it could be a stinky mess. Three to six minutes is usually enough, depending on how tender you like it. We like ours pretty tender.


This is a Romanesco broccoli. Looks eerie, no?

Fancy colored and weird-looking vegetables are all the rage now. I remember finding a Romanesco broccoli in my organic box a couple years ago and thinking it must have been grown on another planet.  But it was tasty.

So how about you? Have you tasted orange cauliflower? What’s the weirdest veggie you make?


46 comments on “Orange cauliflower?
  1. hillsmom says:

    I steam cauliflower in the microwave. Haven’t seen any that color though. Do you think they serve the orange in prisons?

  2. Carla says:

    I am such a fan of the purple cauliflower and the Romanesco broccoli.
    I am now officially on the hunt for this 🙂

  3. Intriguing! I’m dying to try 🙂

  4. Yum, I’ll have to look for that. I love cauliflower.

    My weirdest veggie is a weed called lambs quarters!

  5. J. Kristina says:

    I didn’t realize there were so many varieties of cauliflower!

  6. Carol, I’ve never tried this recipe before. Since I love all vegetables, I know I’d love this too!

  7. I’ve only seen these fancy colored veggies in photos and I’m curious about how they taste. I love veggies and I would definitely want to give them a try.

  8. Sheryl says:

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. Cauliflower is one of my faves – but I haven’t tried the yellow variety…definitely will buy that one the next time I see it in the stores!

  9. Elizabeth O. says:

    I love cauliflower! It’s one of the best veggies ever, especially when it’s prepared in the simplest way, like steamed. I love dipping it in cheese or mayo, I know, fatty right? Lol.

  10. I have never seen orange cauliflower but I love it’s white cousins and love the idea of it being more nutrient rich thanks for this!

  11. GiGi Eats says:

    Cauliflower, in all colors, just kicks ass – End of Discussion! LOL!

  12. WendysHat says:

    I’ve never seen nor had these before! I love the array of unusual colored vegetables available! I also love both carrots and cauliflower so this is a win win for me! Off to find some now!

  13. Lindsay says:

    I’m amazed at how few people know about colored cauliflower. I always grab the colourful cauliflower if I see it at the market, as it’s much more reasonably priced (and local) at the market than at the grocery store. I’ve seen dark purple and green, as well. I’ve never seen the Romanesco Broccoli but I’ll have to look out for it now.
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  14. Willow says:

    I definitely need to try orange cauliflower! I tried white asparagus, and didn’t like it as much as the green, but was glad I tried something new. Now I want to try the Romanesco broccoli too!

  15. andi says:

    i haven’t had cauliflower in a while -and having never heard of orange cauliflower….

  16. hillsmom says:

    While cleaning stuff off my overloaded computer, I found some interesting cauliflower recipes, and more on “PureWow” site.
    I don’t know if I got the site from you, or…? Sorry there’s stuff one would not be interested in, but the recipes looked delicious. Hope you enjoy them. Cheers…

  17. I love cauliflower but hadn’t heard of orange cauliflower. Thanks for sharing the part about the color changing on traditional califlower when I see that I just assume it’s time to throw it away. You probably just saved me some money 🙂

  18. Saswati says:

    Oh my god!! I used to throw these cauliflower with black dots assuming its bad!! Will not do it from now on???? Thanks for these great tips!!☺

  19. I wonder if it has some natural estrogen. I am going to be looking for some more colorful veggies!

  20. Carolann says:

    I’ve heard of it before, but I never see it for sale around where I live. If I do see it, I’m going to try it for sure!

  21. Interesting… I have never seen orange cauliflower before. I would love to try it… seems like it may make a better base for cauliflower mashed potatoes. I haven’t tried many weird veggies. I do love a purple sweet potato.

  22. Liv says:

    I like broccolini. I’ve never tried orange cauliflower…I did have purple ketchup once.

  23. Caitlin says:

    Whaaaaat?? I’ve never heard of orange cauliflower!! So crazy!

  24. Jenn says:

    Interesting! I don’t think I’ve every tried orange cauliflower. My mom always likes the good challenge of cooking and trying new veggies – it always ends up being delicious! It makes me want to give this a try 🙂 I can’t believe you can serve it without seasoning!

  25. Brianna says:

    My kids love cauliflower. We have tried this before it is really good.

  26. Janie Emaus says:

    I love all vegetables and am always looking for something new to try.

  27. After the rainbow carrots you showed the other day I started looking up a few places around here that I am going to check out on Saturday. I’ll be on the lookout. I love cauliflower steamed with a little steak seasoning.

  28. Liz Mays says:

    I’ve never heard of that before, but I think the orange color is neat. I would really like to try some of that now.

  29. Brenda says:

    Woah! Who knew orange cauliflower was a thing? It definitely brings a whole new meaning to ‘Taste the rainbow’

  30. Lux says:

    I’ve never tried orange cauliflower and honestly, it’s the first time I’ve heard of it. Interesting.

  31. Yum, I love cauliflower. I’ve never heard of that before but I’ll have to look for that.

  32. I’ve never come across orange cauliflower before! I like the regular old white stuff so I bet I’d like this too.

    Allison Jones

  33. Jeanine says:

    I’ll admit I don’t know much about cauliflower. But orange? I’ve never seen or heard of this before! How neat.

  34. Angie Scheie says:

    Funny, I thought this was going to be an orange-cauliflower recipe. I’ve never seen this variety!

  35. I love adding new color to my plate! I’m going to steam this up soon. Thanks for sharing 🙂 P.S. I’ll have to remember this when Halloween comes around again. Think of all the cool dishes that can be made with this. haha

  36. I thought only white color cauliflowers are good to eat! thanks for this tip.. I did not know yellow ones were good for you.

  37. How interesting! I had no idea that the color changed the nutritional value. Now I want to go find an orange cauliflower to try 🙂

  38. Hi Carol, I have not tasted orange cauliflower but now I am going to look for it! I love to find you veggies to try! I am so delighted that you shared orange cauliflower with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party! Thank you so much for sharing your gems and for your support! I’m pinning and sharing! All the best, Deborah

  39. Brianne says:

    I’ve never seen orange cauliflower! What fun! I love oven-roasted cauliflower with olive oil and garlic.

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