Fresh from the Farm by Katie Malich

What is white or green or purple or orange; full of vitamin C, dietary fiber and folate; and only 25 calories per 3.5 ounce serving?

Don’t let this rainbow of color stump you. The answer is cauliflower.

Most of us are familiar with white heads of cauliflower. Did you know that different varieties of cauliflower can be orange, purple or green, too? Shopping at the Culver City Farmers Market allows you to purchase freshly picked firm, heavy heads of traditional white cauliflower year round.

Cooler growing weather during winter months means that cauliflower is particularly mild and sweet now. It also means that shoppers can find the less-common heirloom and variant varieties of this healthy cruciferous vegetable at market vegetable stands. Orange cauliflower, which developed from a naturally occurring genetic variation, has 25% more vitamin A than white cauliflower. The lovely purple hue you can find on other heads comes from the antioxident anthocyanin.

Occasionally you will find Italian Romanesco cauliflower. This spikey cone, often a light green in color, has a long heritage. The large, rounded heads of cauliflower we have become accustomed to have descended from the smaller, pointier Romanesco.

Suncoast Farms, at the northwest corner of the market, has lovely organic cauliflower for sale. With our current mild days and nippier nights, cream of cauliflower soup and vegetarian cauliflower casseroles warm the stomach as well as the soul. You’ll find some family recipes, along with some modern, lower calorie dishes in the From the Farmers Table column.

~~~ The Culver City Farmers Market is held each Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. On Main Street between Culver and Venice Boulevards in Culver City.

~~~ Katie Malich is looking forward to some wonderfully sweet and mild baked Czechoslovakian cauliflower custard this week.

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