Colorful Cauliflower a La Greque

I haven’t talked much here about my mother who raised me, my adoptive mom Fay, other than to mention that I love her very, very much, and that she is also very, very much not a foodie. Both remain true, but on the latter point, I may sometimes give the impression that she never cooked anything good or even decent. Not true! While our staples leaned toward frozen mixed vegetables microwaved with margarine and the like, she sometimes pulled a randomly excellent homemade dish.

When I saw the beauties below at Zupan’s last week, my mind immediately wandered back to my mom’s cauliflower dish she called “Cauliflower a la Greque”; I believe she got the recipe from her McCall’s cookbook, the source of most of her recipes and thus the source of most of my early attempts. (I stand by that chocolate mousse recipe. It’s totally solid. Or, not solid, but creamy and airy and rich. You catch my drift.)

Instant inspiration from the produce section at Zupan’s

I knew I had to try and recreate it – and with those colors, how perfect for Easter, eh?
Mom served the dish warm, but I like it chilled – try it both ways and see how you like it best. And a happy, healthy Passover and Easter week to you if you celebrate. This is a lovely spring salad either way.


2 heads of cauliflower (colorful or not), broken down into florets
1/4 cup olive oil plus 3 tablespoons
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
juice and zest of 2 lemons
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
about 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large pot, par-boil the cauliflower  for 10 minutes. Drain and shock the florets in cold water, or just them a good rinse in cold. Set the drained cauliflower aside.

In the same large pot you just used (why dirty another one?), the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until soft (the olive oil here can be regular; drizzle it with extra virgin later on). Add the wine, lemon juice and zest, coriander, salt, and drained cauliflower. Saute for about 10 minutes and remove from the heat.

Transfer immediately into a non-plastic container, toss with remaining olive oil (your most flavorful extra virgin would be great here) and chill for at least an hour prior to serving. Toss in the fresh parsley just before serving.

Other promising cauliflower salads:

Grated Cauliflower Salad with Peppers, Carrots and Capers by Cookin’ Canuck
Cauliflower, Cucumber and Tomato Salad by Natasha’s Kitchen
Marinated Roasted Cauliflower Salad from Amateur Gourmet
Paleo Dirty Rice from Elana’s Pantry
Roasted Cauliflower Salad by Use Real Butter

–posted by Anne


  1. jeri says

    I’m so jealous. All I can get is the regular white cauliflower. I know they taste the same, but the colors just scream Easter. I’m still going to make it though.

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