Prevent Cauliflower from Discoloring
If you’ve ever prepared a crudité platter, you’ll understand how tricky it is to keep raw vegetables looking fresh and appetizing! That’s because all plants, fruits and vegetables have pigments-it’s what gives them their vibrant colors.
Cauliflower is a flavanoid of the anthoxanthin group, which includes potatoes, onions, cauliflower and pears. In acidic environments, they’re white; at a neutral pH they’re creamy white; in alkaline environments, yellow. These foods turn different colors depending upon several factors:
- the pH of the cooking water
- the type of knife used
- the type of cookware used
- degree of exposure to oxygen
Aluminum, tin, copper, iron and steel (not stainless steel) are reactive metals that interact with the pH of food.
The best way to prevent cauliflower from discoloring is to use a stainless steel knife and prepare it in a pan that is free of copper, iron, aluminum or tin. Additionally, adding a hint of acidity (lemon or vinegar) to the cooking water will increase the whiteness of the vegetable.
If you serve raw cauliflower, blanch is first in acidic (lemon or vinegar) water; then cut and serve. If preparing raw cauliflower to serve at a later date, blanch it in acidic water and cover the entire cauliflower head in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Do not slice it until ready to serve.