Recently the poor cauliflower seems to have come under quite a bit of bad press. First there was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall announcing to the world that he doesn't like the stuff; and then there's the worrying fact that recent sales of the vegetable have slumped by 35%.
Well, I do like it. And I'm also a fan of the fascinating Romaine or Romanesco variety, as pictured above. Even if the rest of the world isn't- because it looks like a UFO, or a sinister organism from John Wyndham's "Day of The Triffids".
My dear old grandmother used to cook cauliflower in the traditional English way- and this is how I prefer to serve it:
The cauliflower is not broken up into florets, but steamed whole (for about 20 minutes, or so, until done), drained well and then served in a porcelain tureen (with a lid), and coated with a traditional white (or cheese) sauce, with a subtle seasoning of nutmeg and black pepper. I haven't seen cauliflower served like this for a long, long time.
The other, more popular way, is for the cooked cauliflower to be broken up into florets, and served in a dish, with a cheese sauce and breadcrumbs, and flashed under the grill for a minute or so, until brown.
Raw cauliflower's got a peppery, crunchy taste. It's not so great when it's over-cooked, so make sure, if anything, that you under- rather than over- cook it.