The key to successful winter gardening is knowing the average date of the first killing frost in your region and planting winter vegetable crops early enough to reach their full maturity before that frost. Gardeners here grow over 20 kinds of hardy winter vegetables. They know what to grow, when to plant (late June to early August) and they employ simple cold protection methods like cloche covers.
Winter’s best vegetable recipes celebrate the flavors of the season. Dark leafy greens, such as kale, chard, collard greens and spinach, potatoes and winter squash are some of the healthiest winter vegetables to add to your diet—all are good sources of vitamin C, plus the leafy greens and winter squash are rich in vitamin A.
Two of the most popular winter vegetables are cauliflower and broccoli. Cauliflower is a mild anti-allergic that encourages production of antibodies and is thought to help protect against allergy, asthma, migraine and depression. Both winter vegetables have lots of nutrients, but broccoli has more. Broccoli has the most concentrated source of antioxidant nutrient—vitamin C of all cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli is higher in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, fiber, potassium, phosphorous, and others. Broccoli also contains nutrients that cauliflower lacks, including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, calcium, and iron.
These are two of my favorite recipes (one cold and one hot) to combine these two wonderful winter vegetables.
Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
- 1 bunch broccoli, 1 lb/500 g
- 1 head cauliflower, 1 lb/500 g
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted pine nuts
- 1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) sweet onion or red onion
- Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets to make 6 cups (1.5 L) each. Peel broccoli stalks; slice thinly.
- Fill large bowl with ice water; set aside. In large pot of boiling salted water, blanch cauliflower then broccoli until tender-crisp, about 3 -4 minutes each, transferring with slotted spoon to ice water to chill. Drain well and set aside. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 6 hours.)
- In large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Just before serving, add broccoli, cauliflower, pine nuts, red pepper and onion; toss to coat. (Source : Canadian Living Magazine: January 2005)
Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole
- 1 bunch broccoli, 1 lb/500 g , cut into florets
- 1 head cauliflower, 1 lb/500 g, cut into florets
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
- 4 cups (1 L) hot milk
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded old cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley
- Steam the broccoli and cauliflower over boiling water; cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Place in 8-inch (2 L) square glass baking dish.
- Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; fry onion until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in flour; cook, stirring, until light golden, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; simmer, whisking, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 8 minutes.
- Add the eggs (beaten), cheddar cheese, dry mustard, salt and pepper; stir until cheese is melted. Pour over broccoli and cauliflower.
- In small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley; sprinkle over cauliflower mixture.
- Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven until casserole is bubbly and light golden, about 15 minutes. (Source : Canadian Living Magazine: January 2004
As well as eating broccoli in salads and casseroles we like to eat Balsamic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower for the sweet and nutty flavor.
We like to eat broccoli or cauliflower florets raw or lightly steamed with dip or pour a bit of vinaigrette or balsamic vinegar over them.
We also like to add blanched or lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower to a pasta salad.
Do you have any favorite broccoli and/or cauliflower recipes?