People in France eat about the same amount of fresh cauliflower as Americans do — about one kilogram (2.2 lbs.) per person per year — according to some figures I've found. Per capita consumption of cauliflower is on the rise in the U.S. About 90% of the U.S. cauliflower crop is grown in California, and about 85% of the French cauliflower crop is grown in Brittany. It's because of those two regions' mild winter climates. Actually, the biggest producers and consumers of cauliflower in the world are China and India. Europe grows more than twice as much cauliflower as the U.S. does.
The are many ways to prepare cauliflower — choufleur in French — but one of my favorites is called Gratin de choufleur aux lardons — steamed cauliflower florets and chunks of cooked, smoked pork bacon (or ham) baked together in a cheese sauce. One of the essential ingredients in that cheese sauce is a good pinch of nutmeg, which brings out the flavor of the cheese. For this one, I used French Comté cheese, which resembles what we call Swiss cheese in the U.S.
Notice in the photos in this short slideshow that I also cook the green leaves that surround the cauliflower head. They are good to eat too. This time, I cut them and steamed the greens for the freezer and future meals. The cauliflower I was cooking weighed about 1½ lbs. (700 grams), and that was enough for the two of us. I'm not sure American cauliflower heads are sold with the green leaves still on the stalk, but if they are don't throw the greens away (if you like greens). They could go into the gratin with the cauliflower florets too, if you want. Trim them up and steam them before putting them into the cheese sauce.
Here's French-American chef Jacques Pépin's recipe for Gratin de choufleur.