These easy French cauliflower recipes all make great use of this oftentimes overlooked vegetable. Cauliflower marries well with cream and cheese and the French are not afraid of adding a little of either of these as you can see by these recipes.
Also included below are some tips for selecting, storing, cooking and freezing cauliflower.
Sure to please both young and old, blanched cauliflower is mixed with bechamel sauce and topped with cheese before baking in the oven. This makes a satisfying accompaniment to simply prepared meats, poultry and fish.
Here cauliflower is pureed along with a little potato and garlic, then mixed with Mascarpone cheese and topped with Gruyère. This is so warm and satisfying that it could easily serve as a main course for a vegetarian meal.
Called Potage du Barry, this creamy soup can stand in as a main dish when served with a hearty whole grain bread. Or serve it French style as an entree, followed by one of our other easy French recipes.
Cauliflower florets are steamed until tender and served warm topped with chopped hard boiled eggs and a vinaigrette made from olive oil, shallots and white wine vinegar. Quick and healthy.
More French Cauliflower Recipes
Chou-fleur à la béchamel - Sounds fancy right? All you need to do is steam your cauliflower and top with a quick becheamel sauce. Don't worry, it is very easy: bechamel sauce recipe.
Chou-fleur polonaise - Traditionally this is made by carefully cutting the vegetable into florets, cooking them, then reassembling them to create an entire head. But you can skip the assembly if you wish. Top the cooked cauliflower with chopped hard boiled eggs, parsley, and bread crumbs tossed in browned butter.
La Fleur de Bretagne
The vast majority of French cauliflower is grown in the region of Bretagne (Brittany), where it is enveloped in coastal fog much of the time. In Bretagne, each season features a different variety, so that you can almost always find cauliflower for sale in France. Not limited to white, this vegetable comes in a wonderful pallet of colors - including purple, yellow, and the very popular green romanesco.
Buying. When purchasing cauliflower, look for compact heads with no brown spots and crisp outer leaves. These days you are likely to find cauliflower conveniently cut into florets and sold in a plastic bag. Keep in mind that vegetables sold this way quickly lose their natural freshness.
Storing. Uncut cauliflower can be stored in a loose plastic bag for several days (even a week) in the vegetable keeper of your refrigerator.
Cooking Tips. A few teaspoons of lemon juice can help white cauliflower to retain its color while cooking and adding a piece of bread to the cooking water might help to absorb some of that robust odor this vegetable is famous for. You can also eat it raw or lightly blanched - perhaps in a salad or as a dipping vegetable.
Freezing. To freeze this vegetable for use in different cauliflower recipes, you must first blanch it. Otherwise, because of some of the chemicals it contains, it will deteriorate even in the freezer.