How to cook a Cauliflower

Delia shows How to Cook a Cauliflower. Before you begin to cook a cauliflower you need to choose the right one.  The centre should be creamy in colour and the florets tight and firm.  The leaves should look proud and perky, not drab and droopy.  

To prepare the cauliflower take off most of the outer stalks, leaving just a few tender ones. After that slice off the stalk at the base, then use a saucepan where it fits snuggly and place it on the hob.

Pour in about 2.5cm of boiling water. What this means is that the toughest part of the cauliflower, at the base, sits in the water and the tenderest part cooks in the steam. Then pop in a bay leaf, which is a very English tradition, and it does impart its own fragrance. After that a sprinkling of salt, and finally a few gratings of nutmeg on the surface, this also has an affinity with cauliflower.

Now put a lid on and simmer the cauliflower for 4 to 5 minutes for a small one, or 6 to 7 for a medium or large one.  To test when its ready use a skewer and the worst thing you can do is overcook it so please don't do that. It needs to feel firm and its better to err on undercooking it if its going to be put under the grill or have any more cooking. 

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