This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The good or bad cooking of this vegetable makes so decided a difference, that it may be nnwholesome and tasteless, or nutritive and delicious; and perhaps a few words on this part of the subject, derived from my wife's experience, may be of use to some of your readers. Immerse the heads in hot water, in which has been dissolved a tablespoonful of common salt; simmer very slowly one hour; do not let the water boil, or the flowers are subject to break; take out into a colander, cover close to keep hot whilst the water drains thoroughly; have ready a little toast to place them on, and pour over some nice thick melted butter.
The insects which infest this plant are a small black beetle, about the size of a pin's head, that jumps like a flea. It is so destructive in some localities as to eat up the entire stock of seedling plants in a short time, and is always in most abundance in dry and hot weather. A sprinkling of wood ashes, lime, or soot, used while the dew is on in the morning, will keep it off, but the remedy ought to be early applied, and repeated if washed off by rain. A species of aphis, a glaucous colored little fly, sometimes attacks the roots, and ascends, also, to the leaves; they are gregarious, and exist by Bucking the juices, and exhausting the plant. In this case, I have always found caustic lime, in powder, dug into the ground, and around the plants, and also sprinkled over the leaves, to be effectual. The same remedy is also of service against the cut-worm, or other caterpillars, which are sometimes troublesome.
So far, I have only treated on the Cauliflower, without any reference to its near ally Broccoli; and, as you will no doubt think this communication sufficiently long, we must defer it until some future opportunity.