Caulilini is a new variety of cauliflower developed by Mann's (Mann Packing Company) in Salinas, California. According to the company this variety is from Asia and rarely seen in the U.S. While broccolini is a hybrid of gai lan and broccoli, caulilini is in fact a type of 100% non-gmo cauliflower, not a type of broccolini.
Caulilini is grown right in Salinas Valley in the Gonzales, Ca. area in some of the best soil and climate in the state for growing vegetables.
You can prepare it the same way you might broccolini; it can be sauteed, grilled, steamed or even eaten raw. The stems and tops are tender so they cook quickly and the stems turn a nice dark green color. You can even serve it raw on a vegetable platter and serve with a simple dip. Add it to a pasta dish; it would be great with some salty anchovies. It would be a natural ingredient to add to your favorite stir-fry. My personal favorite is to roast it with some garlic-infused olive oil (see recipe link below). Remember it is intended that you'll eat the stem and all so don't chop those off!
If you don't have or can't find caulilini you can certainly use one of these substitutes:
Similar to broccolini, the vegetable features a long stem with a loose head of florets at the end. When it's grown, rather than developing tight heads like the cauliflower we are most familiar with it forms long stems and loose tiny florets on top. Normally when cauliflower is grown the top of the vegetable is covered but as caulilini grows the tops of the florets (the cap) is exposed to the to the sun so you get the long stems and loose tops.
The product is not sold in full heads like we purchase cauliflower but the stems with florets are cut and bagged. The retail product has slightly shorter stems than the product sold to restaurants which provide longer stems for "artistic" presentation. Right now the retail product is only sold "pre-bagged" then fully washed, ready for cooking.
The food-service product was introduced back in 2017 but the retail product was just introduced in June, 2019 so you may not find it on your grocer's shelf yet. You should ask for it so your local store can order it for you.
Caulilini is NON-GMO, great for Paleo, Vegan, Low carb eaters and anyone who wants to eat clean, fresh food. A three ounce serving is only about 20 calories, no fat, 4 grams of carb and 1 gram of protein.