Cauliflower Polonaise is an excellent example of simple food that injects many flavors.

It may have a Polish name, but it’s French in origin.

Cauliflower Polonaise

This dish of boiled and baked cauliflower, mixed with breadcrumbs, hard-boiled eggs, capers, garlic, and butter, comes together in no time yet completely bursts with flavor.

When using “a la Polonaise” or Polish style, the dish is garnished with buttered breadcrumbs and hard-boiled eggs.

A big plate of this delicious dish will be all gone before you know it. I will definitely make it again and again.

Finishing it in Le Creuset enamel cast iron gratin dish will go from oven to table beautifully.

In this Article

Origins of Polonaise Style

The origin story of this dish is a bit unclear. People in Poland first made it, but France popularized it around the 18th century.

The French used breadcrumbs instead of parmesan to impart texture since parmesan would melt in this dish.

cauliflower polonaise

Reasons to Embrace Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a great vegetable — it’s so versatile. Because it has a mild taste, you can cook it in various ways and be creative with your recipes.

Roasted or baked cauliflower has a beautiful nutty flavor to it. Meanwhile, steam it, and you can mash it up to a smooth consistency and season it for a super-easy side.

If you avoid gluten, carbs, or processed foods, you can use a food processor to grind it. After grinding it, you can use it as a nutritious pizza crust.

You can also slice it into thick slices and roast or sautee the steak-like pieces. Then, you have a whole dinner on a plate.

The options for using this incredible vegetable, to me, are endless. 

And not only is it versatile, it’s healthy. Cauliflower is a composite of vitamins C, K, and B, high in fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Why You’ll Love Cauliflower Polonaise

Delicious – This rich dish will has the potential to make even the pickiest eater fall in love with it.

Versatile – It makes for a great side dish for fish or poultry. But it’s also hearty enough to stand alone as a whole meal.

Easy – This cauliflower polonaise recipe is so simple to follow and make. 

cauliflower polonaise

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed to make this delicious Cauliflower Polonaise

This is a quick introduction. Please read the recipe for complete instructions.

Cauliflower: This is, of course, the star of this dish. Choose perfectly green leaves around the base of your cauliflower. Look for closely packed florets, too.

Lemon: Add wedges of lemon to the water while you cook the cauliflower to offset the scent. The lemon actually absorbs the smell of the cauliflower as it cooks. Bonus: the cauliflower can absorb a bit of the lemon’s bright flavor and fragrance.

Unsalted butter: Always use unsalted butter. You want to control the seasoning, and using salted butter will add too much salt and alter the flavor.

Hard-boiled eggs: Eggs provide a textural contrast from the white flesh and chalky yolk, elevating the entire dish. Not to mention, when grated, it melts with the buttery crumbs. 

Drained capers: These briny spheres impart just the right saltiness that is integral to this dish. 

Garlic clove: The garlic balances well with the soft texture of the cauliflower and eggs. 

Italian parsley: Parsley adds a bright bit of color to the dish. It also adds a burst of fresh flavor. 

cauliflower polonaise

Equipment needed

I only recommend what I use and love.

Large saucepan: to cook your cauliflower.

Large bow and small bowl: l to mix all your ingredients

Gratin dish or baking dish: Roast your cauliflower and bring it to the table.

Grater: for your hard-boiled eggs. Grating them gives it a silkier texture to your dish. 

How to cook cauliflower and not have your house smell 

No one likes the smell of cauliflower in the house when cooking. Here is a quick and easy technique that my grandmother shared with me:

  • Add half or whole lemon to the cooking water to eliminate the smell.
  • Cut in half and squeeze some in the water. The lemon juice absorbs the smell.

Your family will never know that you are preparing them cauliflower.

cauliflower polonaise

Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to create this excellent Cauliflower Polonaise. 

As with all recipes, have all your ingredients ready before tacking your recipe.

  • Start with the cauliflower as per the above instructions.
  • Hard boil the eggs, and remove the hard shell. Grate the hard-boiled eggs or chop them roughly into small pieces.
  • Melt the butter and add the bread crumbs, grated eggs, rinsed capers, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the cauliflower and mix well.
  • Transfer the cauliflower and the mixture into a gratin dish and roast for about 10 minutes or until the top is golden. 

The rich flavor combination of garlic, hard-boiled egg, and capers is out of this world. Plus, the breadcrumbs give irresistible crunchiness to the whole dish.

This dish can be prepared the day before you want to enjoy it. To achieve that, here are a few helpful steps:

  • Start by cooking the cauliflower; follow the quick tip below to eliminate the small that it gives out while cooking.
  • Hard boil your eggs as well. I always keep a couple of boiled in my refrigerator for a quick snack at lunchtime.
  •  You can go further the day before by mixing all the ingredients except the remaining breadcrumbs (11/2 tablespoon as per the recipe below) and the butter.
  • Do bring both of the above to room temperature before the final assembly.

What to Serve With Cauliflower Polonaise

This tasty cauliflower dish goes well with various meals, like roasted chicken, pork chops with caramelized onions, grilled salmon, or lamb. Or, impress your brunch guests by serving it alongside quiche Lorraine or a French onion tart

Cauliflower Polonaise

Variations 

Herbs – Add fresh herbs like dill, thyme, or tarragon. 

Heat – Use a few dashes of crushed red pepper or cayenne to give it a spicy kick. 

More Cauliflower recipes

As you may have noticed, cauliflower is often featured in my recipe collection, and here are a few fantastic recipes that I know you will enjoy.

Cauliflower with Olives and Cherry Tomatoes

Roasted Cauliflower with LimeDressing

Bucatini with Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts

Chickpeas, Cauliflower, Curry Vinaigrette

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cauliflower polonaise?

Cauliflower polonaise combines butter and garlic, toasty breadcrumbs, briny capers, and hard-boiled eggs mixed with steamed cauliflower. Roast the dish until it browns and serve it solo or as a side dish.

What is a polonaise in food? 

The term “a la polonaise” in food refers to a Polish-style preparation. Be sure not to confuse it with the Polish dance of the same name!

Storage 

Refrigerator: Store cauliflower polonaise in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

Freezer: Freeze leftover for up to 3 months.

If you enjoy this delicious Cauliflower Polonaise, look at my other recipes.

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Gratin

Stuffed Tomatoes

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing

 

 

Equipment used in this recipe

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Oval Baker, 5/8 qt. (8"), Cerise
$89.95
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$13.99
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Mixing Bowls With Lids Set
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Cauliflower Polonaise

5 from 38 votes
cauliflower polonaise
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Cauliflower Polonaise is an excellent example of simple food that injects many flavors.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
  • ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs, devided
  • 2 hard cooked eggs
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and lemon wedge. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
    Drain, blot dry, and transfer to a large bowl. Toss the lemon.
  • Stir in with the cauliflower, one tablespoon of the melted butter, 1 ½ tablespoon of the breadcrumbs, and the eggs, capers, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer into a large, oval gratin baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the remaining breadcrumbs and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and sprinkle over the top.
  • Roast the cauliflower until golden brown on top, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 51.2mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.9mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on October 9, 2019. Edited and updated on September 17, 2023