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Purple cauliflower polonaise

My Dad didn’t often make vegetarian main courses when my sister and I were kids. He knew he was likely to be hurled with abuse. This was one of few of his vegetarian dishes that did not induce a temper tantrum. I think it was probably the crispy, salted breadcrumbs that did it. He was always very liberal with those.

For my cooking demo at the Natoora shop this week I am making my Dad's recipe with purple cauliflower, as well as white. Of course, you can just use white cauliflower on its own, as my Dad does. The purple cauliflower does look fabulous though, doesn't it? It tastes great too. They're grown organically for Natoora by Good Earth Growers in Cornwall.

This colourful salad is quick and easy to prepare and works both as a side or a main. If you need carbs to fill up, I suggest adding some potatoes, cous cous or quinoa for something more substantial. Crispy bacon or smoked fish is nice too if you prefer your main course with some animal protein.

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side.


1 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
½ cup breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 eggs
1 purple cauliflower
1 white cauliflower
½ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon


Heat the olive oil and butter in a fry pan over a medium heat. Once the butter is melted add the breadcrumbs and fry until crispy and golden, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

In a small saucepan boil the eggs until they are just set. This usually takes 8 minutes if cooking from room temperature, though it depends on the size of the eggs. Remove from the water, run under cold water then peel and put to one side.

Remove any leaves from the cauliflowers, cut into bite-sized florets and discard the core. Steam until al dente (approx. 4 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Toss the cauliflower with the parsley and lemon zest, reserving a small amount of parsley for the garnish. Place in a large serving dish.

Quickly reheat the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top. Dice the eggs and sprinkle those over too, then the remaining parsley. Best served warm.


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Reader Comments (2)

Omigod I love this dish, it has always been my favourite cauliflower recipe. It is delicious but my goodness how the purple transforms the look of it. It ii like a painting . I think Dad's original inspiration for the recipe came from Jane Grigson's Vegetable cookbook which is 70s or 80s but a true classic. You can check with him.

September 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMa

Hi Ma, thanks for the comment. It does look lovely doesn't it? So vibrant. Oh yes, I remember the Jane Grigson book, it is indeed a British classic! :-)

September 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterVix

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