Don’t Throw Cauliflower Leaves Away; Here’s How To Use Them
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Cauliflower is neglected in culinary circles outside of India and cauliflower leaves face even more discrimination. They are usually tossed aside or used for composting, but few people know that they can be an ingredient for a tasty side dish. Using cauliflower leaves is a good excuse to avoid spending on expensive greens like kale. It’s also a good way to get into the zero-waste habit. With campaigns like "Waste Not Want Not", the European Union has encouraged cooks to save over 300 million tons of food that’s less good-looking from going to waste every year.

Cauliflower leaves belong to the same family as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. They are a good source for fibre and vitamin C, and also contain vitamin A, folate, calcium, and potassium as well as selenium (which works to boost the immune system when coupled with Vitamin C). 

British food writer, cookery teacher, and author of ‘Chilli & Mint: Indian Home Cooking from a British Kitchen' Torie True shares her recipe for wilted cauliflower leaves with chilli flakes, garlic and lemon juice. 


  • Cauliflower leaves (washed thoroughly)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (diced)
  • Lemon juice (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Water


  1. Discard any manky leaves.
  2. Boil a pan of water and plunge the leaves into it for a couple of minutes; remove and strain. 
  3. In a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 2 cloves of diced garlic. 
  4. After a minute, add the drained leaves. 
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and the juice of half a lemon. Sprinkle with salt. 
  6. The leaves will wilt and begin to lightly bronze. Add 1 teaspoon chilli flakes. 
  7. If you want to go down a veggie route instead of vegan you can add a knob of butter at this stage. 
  8. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove and plate.