Should I eat that leaf?
July 31, 2008 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Can you think of any godly reason why I should not eat the leaves of my cauliflower plants?

I think they’re delicious, and I suspect they’re nutritious. I leave most on the plant for doing their planty stuff and for covering the actual cauliflower head with when it starts to grow, but I like to pick some of the big leaves off and eat them. Google has offered me little except a few links that say the smaller leaves are edible. Why not the bigger?
posted by serazin to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've eaten all sizes of cauliflower leaves, with no ill effect. I suspect that the older leaves are stronger, but I've never cooked them separately to find out.

I can highly recommend sprout tops too.
posted by Solomon at 4:25 PM on July 31, 2008

Here's a vote for "Yes" from another forum, and here's a recipe .
posted by contraption at 4:25 PM on July 31, 2008

Don't use heinous pesticides on them and wash them. Eat up.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 4:32 PM on July 31, 2008

Just throw those babies in a nice big garden salad with some baby spinach, fancy lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sliced Kalamata olives and - why not? - balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:48 PM on July 31, 2008

Of course they're edible. They're basically kale. They may be coarse and strong flavoured, but their edibility is a matter of taste rather than toxicity.

I would probably cook some chopped garlic in olive oil in a saucepan, then toss in the shredded leaves with a bit of salt and lots of pepper, add a dribble of water and cover to steam for a few minutes.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:20 PM on July 31, 2008

Well, cauliflower is a different variety of the same species that includes brussel sprouts and Kale.
posted by Good Brain at 5:22 PM on July 31, 2008

Cauliflower is a cole crop and very closely related to cabbage. As a result, you should be able to eat away without worry.
posted by onhazier at 5:24 PM on July 31, 2008

I sure hope it's OK, I've always cooked them up and eaten them either with the heads or as part of another meal.
posted by advicepig at 8:15 PM on July 31, 2008

Thank you all for your reassurance! I will continue to boldly consume my cauliflower leaves!

(Interesting flavor note - my white headed cauliflower plant had much milder-tasting leaves than my purple headed plant.)
posted by serazin at 8:38 PM on July 31, 2008

Oh goodness, I couldn't imagine a world without cauliflower!

My favourite way is to break up the whole cauliflower (the greener the leaves the better), boil in lightly salted water then mash with butter and pepper. It's almost as good as mashed potatoes.

It keeps beautifully overnight in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven with a knob of butter.
posted by ceri richard at 6:06 AM on August 1, 2008

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