Flowering cauliflower, known as Fioretto, is a fun, delicious new cauliflower variety in town. I made this Lemon Marinated Fioretto Salad to introduce it to you, and to show off its good looks and mild, sweet flavor. This is one of the first Fioretto recipes, and we’ll be seeing a lot more.So remember just after the first of the year, when I told you I’d learned from Melissa’s Produce what would be “in” this year? In the world of produce, that is?
Next up: Fioretto!
Ever heard of it?
Hakuna Matata, I hadn’t either. (My son was just played Timon in The Lion King so I just had to swap out “no worries,” for Hakuna Matata. I know, I’m a dork.)
What is Fioretto?
Fioretto, which means “little flower” in Italian, is flowering cauliflower. To be more specific, it’s the florets that sprout at the top of a cauliflower stalk, on long, thin stems. The color of the stems is often green, but can vary from creamy white to yellowish-green.
Fioretto or flowering cauliflower, is also known as Biancoli, Sweet Sprouting Cauliflower, Karifurore and Stick Cauliflower.
How to Use Fioretto?
- This beautiful, flowering cauliflower can be eaten raw, grilled, sautéed, roasted, and the list goes on.
- It’s lovely mixed into salads and stir-fries, and fabulous simply served with a dip as an appetizer.
- I love roasting is, just as I would a whole head of cauliflower, until it’s super caramelized.
- This new cauliflower variety would also be the perfect vegetable to pickle.
What does Fioretto taste like?
- Fioretto has a subtle nut-like flavor and is generally sweeter than large heads cauliflower.
- While this flowering cauliflower variety is tender enough to enjoy raw, it also tends to remain crunchy through cooking.
Typically, when I use a head of cauliflower, my favorite thing to do is roast it at a very high temperature, making it incredibly sweet and soft. (I hope you didn’t miss my over-the-top, Citrus Whole Roasted Cauliflower.)
However, my first instinct with the Fioretta however, was to use it raw. When I took it out of the package, it was just so pretty and delicate that I didn’t want to change it too much.
Letting it hang out in a lemon marinade for a few hours turned out to be the perfect choice. It beautifully took on the citrus and softened just slightly.
It’s a beautiful, light appetizer, or can also be a gorgeous vegan entrée salad.
I served it on one of our Thursday night dinners with my dad, and everyone loved it. (Okay fine, the 12-year-old loved it, and the 14-year-old sort of liked it.)
Never mind the kids, this Lemon Marinated Salad with flowering cauliflower was a huge hit!
Fioretto is being introduced to the U.S. by Melissa’s Produce, and is in season year round. You can find this new cauliflower variety at Bristol Farms, Gelson’s, and other upscale markets. Since it’s very new, if you don’t see it, you can ask the produce manager at your market about it, or you can order it here.
This is not a sponsored post. Melissa’s sent me Fioretto for recipe testing. I only write about foods I truly like.
Light, crisp, sweet, tangy -- this lovely vegan salad will wow your palate as an appetizer or entrée.
*Serves 4 as an appetizer and 2 as an entrée.
- 2/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon chile paste (I like Samabl Oelek)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- a few turns freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound Fioretto (flowering cauliflower), washed and dried
- 2 cups micro greens, washed and dried
- 3/4 cup red bell pepper, small dice
- 3 tablespoons yellow onion, small dice
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil, garlic, sugar, mustard, chile paste and salt. Pour this into a large, zip-lock bag and add the Fioretto. (If the Fioretto isn't already in bite-sized pieces, you can slice the florets lengthwise, in half or in fourths.) Remove the air form the bag, seal it, and move the Fioretto around to be sure it's all well coated. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Drain the marinated Fioretto, SAVING the marinade. Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine it with the micro greens, bell pepper and onion. Add as much of the marinade back as desired, and save the rest for another time.