Broccoflower™ (pronounced “BRAHK-uh-flower”) is the trademark name owned by California growers Tanimura & Antle, used exclusively for their version of green cauliflower, a cauliflower-broccoli cross.
Tanimura & Antle’s Broccoflower™, grown and sold by other growers as simply “green cauliflower,” bears the assets of both of its parents, though in appearance, it favors the cauliflower, rather than the broccoli, side of the family. Because broccoli and cauliflower are relatively closely related, cross-pollination takes places readily.
One popular cultivar of green cauliflower is the “Green Ball,” a nicely descriptive name. The Broccoflower™, or green cauliflower, resembles a white cauliflower whose curd has been dyed a springtime hue of vivid chartreuse.
In flavor, the Broccoflower™ again leans more toward cauliflower than broccoli, although it features some of broccoli’s sweetness and is milder than typical white cauliflower. High in vitamin C, green cauliflower is a good source of folate and is low in calories and carbohydrates—a 1-cup (95-g) serving has only about 25 calories and no fat. A cruciferous vegetable, green cauliflower contains compounds that may help the body to defend itself against certain types of cancer.
Broccoflower™ is available year-round in the fresh-produce section of the grocery store. When selecting a head of green cauliflower, avoid any with brown spots on the curd or wilted leaves. Look for a nice compact head that feels heavy in the hand. If not using right away, store unwashed, uncut whole head in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag for about five days. When ready to serve, remove outer jacket leaves and discard. Wash the curd before eating. Any discolored spots that may have developed since purchasing can be trimmed away with a paring knife.
Green cauliflower can be prepared any way white cauliflower can. Eat it raw, or barely blanched, on vegetable trays or in salads. Stir-fry, steam, microwave, roast, or puree it. It makes a delicious cream soup with a lovely, unique pale-green color. For a striking side dish, steam and serve the whole head. As a low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes, steam Broccoflower™ florets until tender, drain well, and mash with sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, and a bit of horseradish, if desired.
To help Broccoflower™ hold the intensity of its bright yellow-green color while cooking, add a few drops of lemon juice to the water when steaming or microwaving. Care should be taken not to overcook green cauliflower. As with conventional white cauliflower or broccoli, overcooking produces an unpleasantly mushy texture and strong smell and diminishes the nutritional quality of the vegetable.