Cauliflower - Puānīko/Pūputi/Kareparāoa

Cauliflower, from the Latin word meaning 'cabbage flower', is a member of the brassica family.

Cauliflower has been grown for more than 2,000 years. Native to the Mediterranean, it has been part of the European diet for about 500 years. It is now a popular vegetable in New Zealand. Miniature cauliflowers, ideal for a single serve, are sometimes available.

Broccoflower (Romanesco)

This is a hybrid mix of cauliflower and broccoli. The florets are bright green (lighter than broccoli) and packed into a round head like cauliflower. The flavour tends to be sweeter than cauliflower and broccoli. Supply is limited.

What to look for

Check the colour and freshness of leaves that are close to the head (known as curds). The best cauliflower will have white heads that are clean and compact. The curds should be firm with no parts breaking away.


Available: all year


Refrigerate in paper bags.

How to prepare

Cut into florets or leave whole. Cauliflower is best cooked for a short time until tender but still slightly crisp. Avoid overcooking as the taste will be inferior and the heads will disintegrate. To lightly cook cauliflower florets for use in salads or to serve with dips, simply place in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and cool under cold running water.

Ways to eat

Add raw or lightly cooked to salads, make into pickles, add to soups, braises and stir fries. Use as crudités, either raw or blanched, served with dip or dipping sauce. Serve steamed or boiled with a white or cheese sauce. Cauliflower can be used like broccoli. Click here for recipes.

Cooking methods

Boil, braise, microwave, roast, steam, stir fry.


Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin C, a source of folate and contains a dietary significant amount of potassium. One serving of cauliflower (1 cup raw) contains 120% of an adult’s daily requirement for vitamin C. As a member of the Brassica family of vegetables it contains phytonutrients such as glucosinolates, carotenoids and phenolic compounds.

Nutrition table

Nutrition Information        
Serving size: 75g    
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100g  
Energy (kJ) 59                    1                  79                 Energy - low
Protein (g) 0.6                   1                  0.8                 
Fat, total (g) 0.3                   0                  0.4                 
 - saturated (g) 0.04                 0                  0.06                 
Available carbohydrate (g) 1.5                   0                  1.9                 
 - sugars (g) 1.4                   2                  1.8                Sugar - low, Sugar - % free
Dietary Fibre (g) 1.6                   6                  2.2                 
Sodium (mg) 5                      0                  7                    
Vitamin C (mg) 26.9 67% RDI* 35.9 A good source of vitamin C
Folate (µg) 25 12% RDI* 33 A source of folate
Potassium (mg) 232   310 Contains potassium
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ 
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. 
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
Source: New Zealand Food Composition Database online accessed May 2024



Always leave a small portion of outer leaves intact for protection of the product. Hand stack one deep with stem end down. Trim stems daily. Display in refrigerated shelving. Offer half portions or bags of florets. Use QR code on labels.

Store at 0ºC with a relative humidity of 90-100%. Cauliflower is ethylene sensitive so store separately from ethylene producing vegetables and fruits wherever possible.

Purchase cauliflower with the New Zealand GAP logo.