The best way to freeze cauliflower

Your intentions were good when you spotted that awesome looking head of cauliflower the other day. It was a textbook-perfect vegetable: firm to the touch, creamy white, didn't have a blemish in sight and its florets were as tightly packed as a crowd of movie fans trying to catch their favorite star on opening night (via Oregon Live). It would make a great cauliflower and cheese casserole, or you might even rice it and turn it into the base for some kind of Asian stir fry. After all, cauliflower is very versatile and there are oodles of ways to prepare it.

But life has gotten in the way of cooking plans since you went to the supermarket, and now your still-presently perfect head of cauliflower is on the verge of becoming a shadow of its glorious self. Instead of resigning yourself to turning the cauliflower into soup to hide its sins, or worse, tossing it (which some of us have may have been known to do), you might consider freezing the vegetable and give it a chance to shine another day.

Freezing is the best way to store cauliflower

Cauliflowers may look like hearty vegetables, but there are certain things you can and cannot do with them. The Spruce Eats warns you against dehydrating the vegetable, and pressure canning will leave you with a mushy mess. Blanching and then freezing cauliflower is the best way to go, because the process will virtually guarantee that the vegetable will keep a bit of crunch when it's ready to be cooked.

To prepare cauliflower heads for frozen slumber, first soak the vegetable in water, so all dirt and creepy crawlies are cleaned off. Cut off all its green bits, chop the head in half, remove its solid center stalk, then break what's left into small florets by hand — these remaining bits should be no more than 1.5 inches thick. Blanch the florets in hot water for five minutes, then cool rapidly in an ice bath for three minutes. Drain well in a colander and store in a single layer on a baking sheet for an hour or two before you transfer the lot into ziplock bags for longer-term storage.

Frozen cauliflower keeps for a year before they need to be discarded. But after all the work you just did, you might just want to consider ricing that puppy fresh so you can serve it up the same night, and enjoy leftovers the next day; if there are any, that is.