Polish-Style Cauliflower (Kalafior Po Polsku)

Wok with cauliflower florets on dark wood
Westend61 / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 13 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
156 Calories
11g Fat
11g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 77mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 5g
Calcium 57mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

To be truly cooked à la polonaise, a French expression for "in the Polish style," this Polish-Style Cauliflower (kalafior po polsku) should be garnished with chopped hard-cooked eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, and butter.

Here, the cauliflower is cooked and presented as a whole head. I omitted the eggs and replaced them with chopped almonds and dill (but left in the parsley).

This is such an easy recipe that can be prepared in the microwave and takes all of 15 minutes from start to finish.

See the discussion of the Italian influence on vegetables in Polish cooking, below, after the recipe directions.


  • 1 large head cauliflower (washed and trimmed)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons almonds (finely chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • Garnish: parsley (chopped)
  • Garnish: dill (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place 1 large head washed and trimmed cauliflower, right side up, in a microwaveable dish with a lid. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover and microwave on high 8 minutes. Let cauliflower sit, covered, in the microwave while you prepare the buttered breadcrumbs.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt butter and add the finely chopped almonds, cooking slowly to brown. Stir in dry breadcrumbs and cook about 1 minute or until crisp.

  4. Remove cooked cauliflower from a cooking dish, drain quickly, and place on a serving plate. Spoon buttered almond breadcrumbs over and sprinkle with chopped parsley and dill.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

The Italian Influence

Vegetables other than cabbage and root vegetables were virtually unknown in Poland until 1518 when Queen Bona Sforza, an Italian princess who married the widowed Polish King Sigismund I (Zygmunt), also known as Sigismund the Old, and introduced them to her new homeland. 

Many Polish words for vegetables, in fact, are taken directly from Italian - kalafiory (cauliflower), pomidory (tomatoes) and sałata (lettuce), for example. To this day, soup greens are known as włoszczyzna or "Italian stuff," włoski being the Polish word for "Italian."

What Is Cauliflower?

Cauliflower, at its best in the fall and winter, is a cruciferous vegetable along with broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, horseradish, rutabaga, kohlrabi, turnips, and others.

Cruciferous vegetables are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, easy to grow and usually are a good buy.

More About à la Polonaise

Typically cauliflower and asparagus are prepared à la polonaise. For Poles, the hard-cooked eggs and chopped parsley are usually left out, leaving you with buttered breadcrumbs. Other Polish foods that get the à la polonaise treatment include Stuffed eggs and the sugar snap peas I enjoyed at Warszawa Restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif. Another example is the green beans à la polonaise I pair with Hungarian Stuffed Beef Roulade Recipe.