Are Cauliflower Leaves Edible?

cauliflower-leaves-edible Credit: liz west/CC-BY-2.0

Cauliflower leaves are edible and nutritious, according to Green Talk. These leaves roast and stir-fry well and are also excellent in soup stocks or as vegetable chips. In addition, the stems of cauliflower are also edible.

As Green Talk points out, cauliflower is typically delivered to the store with the leaves removed, as most consumers only eat the florets. However, the complete plant including leaves is often available at farmer's markets or from home gardens.

According to The World's Healthiest Foods, cauliflower leaves, as well as closely-related broccoli leaves, are a natural source of protein as well as of several other essential vitamins and nutrients including vitamin C.

Roasting cauliflower is an easy way to prepare the entire plant, including the leaves, stems and florets. Green Talk suggests brushing bite-size servings of the plant with soy sauce or olive oil and drizzling light seasonings on them. After roasting for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the florets are soft and tender, while the leaves are crispy and delicious, providing a nice contrast of textures with minimal work.

Vegetable chips are another simple way to prepare cauliflower leaves. According to Mother Earth News, this technique does not use the central ribs of the leaves, which can be saved to make vegetable stock. When the remaining portions of the leaves are baked for 20 minutes at a low temperature, they become crispy. Paired with a light dusting of salt, these vegetable chips provide a tasty, healthy snack.