If Cauliflower and Broccolini Had a Baby, This Would Be It
“Caulilini” is my new favorite word. I love the way it rolls around on the tongue, and I’m half convinced it would make a cute baby name. Caulilini also happens to be my new favorite vegetable. It’s a type of cauliflower that looks like edible baby’s breath, or like cauliflower and Broccolini had a baby. It has long, light green stems and sweet blonde open florets on top. It’s so pretty you could put it in a vase, and the whole thing is edible — stems and all.
What Is Caulilini?
Caulilini SweetStem Cauliflower is a brassica, like broccoli, cauliflower, and Broccolini. And it looks a lot like a very pale, spindly Broccolini. But according to Mann Packing, which produces it, Caulilini SweetStem Cauliflower is actually still a cauliflower, whereas Broccolini was created by crossing broccoli and jie lan, which is another brassica that is often translated as “Chinese broccoli.” Caulilini is a new type of cauliflower — it is a lot softer and sweeter than regular cauliflower, and for culinary purposes it works a lot like Broccolini.
For more info on caulilini visit Baldor Specialty Foods.
The flavor of Caulilini is described as “sweetly succulent,” with the nuttiness of cauliflower but a natural sweetness — especially in the stem. It can be fried, roasted, steamed, grilled, blanched, or eaten raw in salads or on crudité platters. It’s an extremely versatile vegetable, and you could use it anywhere you’d use Broccolini. People especially seem to like it roasted or grilled so the florets get dark, or lightly fried because the Caulilini gets nicely crisp, but the stems stay sweet.
Chefs seem to be having a lot of fun with it.
Caulilini is still very new, but people seem very excited about it, so we’ll probably see a lot more of it in the near future.
What would you do with Caulilini?