Does purple cauliflower stay purple after it's cooked?
Yes, it'll keep its for the most part, as will green and orange cauliflower. But you know how white cauliflower changes from a chalky white to translucent white after cooking? When I steamed it, it went from vibrant purple to lavender. I grew it a couple of times just to impress the grandkids. To me, cauliflower is one of those things that, unlike tomatoes, isn't that much better homegrown than store-bought, so I don't give it any of my limited garden space.
Generally, the vegetables that are purple only on their surface, such as pole or bush beans, lose their color when cooked; vegetables that are colored through-and-through, such as purple cabbage, potatoes and beets, retain most of their color.
Be careful if you're experimenting, though, because you might get unwanted color changes: I used purple carrots once in a cole slaw, which turned the dressing the most gorgeous shade of magenta I've ever seen; unfortunately, it didn't look appetizing with the green cabbage. If you're thinking about purple cauliflower for this week's contest, and you're planning on using a squirt of lemon juice or vinegar to punch up the flavor, try it on a tiny portion first to see if it bleeds, but it'll probably be fine. And it could be that an acid will help it stay vibrant. Please, if you try it, let us know how fun -- or not -- it was.
I have made several batches of pickled cauliflower with other veggies. The purple cauliflower seems to bleed out when water bathed in the jars. The whole batch turned purple/ pink. Also tried using purple carrots and they too bled out and colored my pickles. They were so pretty when I packed the jars before the brine was added!
Thanks betteirene. I'm tempted to try it. Purple and orange go nice together, right? Will keep you all posted!
Update: I did NOT buy the purple cauliflower, since it looked less-than-desirable and cost twice as much as the white.