Easy French Food and Recipes

Steamed Cauliflower with Vinaigrette Sauce

Here is a lovely steamed cauliflower recipe that goes particularly well with fish. Warm cauliflower gets dressed up in a simple olive oil vinaigrette and topped with chopped eggs and parsley. A yummy combination.

How to Steam Cauliflower

steamed cauliflower

Cauliflower can be steamed just like most vegetables, but it can be a little tricky because of its size. If you are steaming a whole head of cauliflower (as is called for in this recipe), you will probably need to do it in two batches.

Remove the leaves and cut even sized florets away from the stem. Cut away any brown or spotty looking bits. There shouldn't be any, but alas, perhaps you forgot about monsieur chou-fleur chilling in the back of the fridge. Larger florets should be cut in pieces so they approximate the size of the smaller ones. (A general rule of thumb in preparing vegetables is that you want things to be evenly sized to allow for even cooking.)

Microwave steamed cauliflower works fine as well. Use a specially adapted microwave steamer, or just place the florets in a covered Pyrex dish with a little water. Cook on high for about six minutes for tender cauliflower.

Hard Boiled Eggs

This steamed cauliflower recipe calls for hard boiled eggs. There are diverging opinions on how to boil an egg. It seems cooks love to debate such issues, but here is the method that works for me:


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and carefully add the eggs.
  • Reduce the heat so the water is at a simmer.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat and drain the water from the pot.
  • Refill with cold water.
  • I then just let the eggs sit in the water until I am ready to peel them.

Did you know that fresh eggs are harder to peel when boiled in the shell? An older egg (say 10 days after it left the chicken) shrinks somewhat in its shell, leaving a space that then makes it easier to peel. So go ahead and use those older eggs for this recipe.

Menu suggestion: Try serving this steamed cauliflower side dish with a simple poached fish for a low calorie, low carb and totally satisfying dinner. Here is a simple recipe: Poached Salmon Recipe.

Chou-fleur à la vinaigrette


  • 2 eggs, hardboiled (you can do this in advance)
  • 1 head of cauliflower or 1 large bag of florets
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/3 cup champagne vinegar or other white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • handful of chopped flat parsley
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Hard boil eggs. See above for some tips.
  2. Cook the cauliflower. If using a whole cauliflower, remove the leaves, slice in two and cut out the stem. Cut the cauliflower into small consistently sized florets. Steam the florets using your favorite method (see above for some tips).
  3. Prepare the vinaigrette. While the cauliflower is cooking, peel and chop the shallot finely. Place the vinegar in a small mixing bowl and add the chopped shallot and a little salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil, adding it slowly.
  4. Chop the other ingredients. Peel the hard boiled eggs and chop them. Chop the parsley.
  5. Assemble. Place the cooked warm cauliflower in a serving dish and top with the chopped egg, vinaigrette,chopped parsley and a little more salt and ground pepper if you wish.
  6. Serve warm. Makes 6 or so servings.

French Food

French Cooking Help

Noshes and Starters

Main Courses

Les Desserts

Other Recipes

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.