I feel the same way about cooked cauliflower as I do about cooked broccoli …. I love to eat it, but don’t do so nearly as often as I’d like for one reason. THE SMELL! Thus, this conundrum of how to cook cauliflower.
Cooking cauliflower produces a terrible odor, and it’s usually not worth it. I love this vegetable, but don’t want that stench in my home.
So I did a little research and found that there are several methods that dramatically reduce, and even eliminate, the cauliflower odors during cooking.
Now I can confidently prepare cooked cauliflower for myself, my family, and my friends. The good news is that you can too. I’ll show you how. Here are five methods that can apply whether you steam or boil it.
Let’s get started.
Make sure that your cauliflower is fresh. You can judge most varieties by how white they are. Avoid heads with browning or discolored spots. Then wash it, and cut the desired amount.
METHOD 1. ADD A TEASPOON OF VANILLA EXTRACT TO THE WATER
It will mask the cooking odor without affecting the taste.
METHOD 2. ADD A TEASPOON OF CIDER VINEGAR TO THE WATER
It will also mask the cooking odor without affecting the taste.
Don’t worry, the vinegar smell quickly dissipates, so you aren’t exchanging one stench for another.
METHOD 3. ADD A BAY LEAF TO THE POT WITH BOILING OR STEAMING CAULIFLOWER
The bay leaf will release a pleasant aroma that overcomes the cauliflower odor.
METHOD 4. ADD A SLICE OF WHITE BREAD TO THE POT WITH BOILING OR STEAMING
The porous bread soaks up the odor.
Just fish it out and discard right before draining cauliflower.
METHOD 5. DON’T COOK CAULIFLOWER ON THE STOVE. BAKE OR MICROWAVE IT
For the microwave: the shorter cooking time means less time for odors to be released. However, I still recommend using vinegar or vanilla to keep the inside of the microwave fresh.
Remember, whichever method you choose, don’t overcook the cauliflower. The longer it cooks, the more odors it will release. Depending on how much you are cooking, it only needs 5 to 10 minutes. Test for tenderness with a fork.