Friday, 1 October 2021

Curried Egg and Cauliflower Salad

Do you remember Coronation Chicken which was served originally as "Poulet Reine Elizabeth"? Well as Yotam Ottelenghi says at the beginning of his recipe, this is what it would taste like if you replaced the chicken with cauliflower and boiled eggs, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. You will need to taste this salad to understand what I am talking about. Beautiful fresh vegetables and boiled eggs lightly coated in a  curry cream sauce is the basis of this recipe. However if you really want chicken to be involved, bake a chicken on the weekend and serve this healthy and delicious salad with it. Cauliflowers are very well priced at the moment so now is the time to buy up big on cauliflower and embrace their versatility. I believe they are one of the most adaptable vegetables to have on hand, and I often eat bits and pieces raw while I am chopping and cooking with them.

Le Cordon Bleu, London is one of the oldest cookery schools in London. Rosemary Hume, the founder of the school and her students, prepared the Coronation Luncheon in January 1953, for Queen Elizabeth and 350 guests in the great Hall of Westminster School. This event made Le Cordon Bleu and the recipe famous and it is still served today as Poulet Reine Elizabeth in some British restaurants.  I remember eating it at a restaurant in Mackay just after we first moved here around 35 years ago. I've never forgotten it, absolutely delicious. Some of you will be aware that Queen Elizabeth then toured Australia the following year in 1954, and I was lucky enough to be able to dress up and catch a glimpse of her, albeit from my pram, but my Mum always loved to tell that story. Anyway enough nostalgia, we need to make this salad.

This  is also one of the more simple recipes that I have cooked, and also absolutely delicious. We ate it over two days. This is my version of Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe from his book "Simple".


Serves four to six people

1 medium cauliflower, trimmed and broken into 3-4cm florets: keeping the tender green leaves (500g)

1 onion, sliced into 1cm thick wedges (180g)

2 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil

1 tbsp mild curry powder (I used good old reliable Clive of India) (divide into 2 + 1 teaspoons)

9 large eggs

4 fresh red radishes

100 g Greek-style yoghurt (I use Valia for it's probiotic qualities)

50g mayonnaise

1/2 tsp regular chilli flakes (be brave it isn't too  much), or 1 tsp of Aleppo if you can find them

1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed

2 lemons, 1 squeezed to get 1 tbsp juice and the second cut into 4-6 wedges, to serve

10g tarragon, roughly chopped, I used a bit more but I have it growing.

salt and black pepper


Preheat the oven to 230 deg,C.

Bake the cauliflower, onion and spices. Mix the cauliflower florets and any young tender leaves in tact, in a large bowl with the onion, oil, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Spread the combined mixture out onto a a baking tray lined with baking paper, and roast for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft and golden brown but still retaining a bite. It needs to be tender enough to eat at this stage without falling apart, as an indicator. I also used a skewer to test it. Stick it back in the oven for another few minutes if you think it needs a bit longer. 

Remove the tray from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Boil the eggs. Fill a medium saucepan with plenty of water and bring to the boil on a high heat. Reduce the heat to a medium simmer and carefully lower the eggs into the water on a large spoon, and boil gently for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Drain the eggs, then return then to the saucepan and fill with cold water so that they chill and stop cooking. This also prevents that dark ring forming around the yolk of the egg. 

When they are just cool, carefully remove the shells from the eggs by peeling them, and place them in a large bowl and break them roughly with the back of a fork to form large chunks. This whole eggy process could be done the day before serving and kept in a lidded container in the refrigerator. I have to restrain myself from not eating the mashed egg there and then on a sandwich with mayo.

Slice the radishes and keep them chilled in the refrigerator.

Make the Yoghurt Sauce. In another separate smaller bowl, mix together the yoghurt, mayonnaise, the lemon juice,  the remaining 1 teaspoon of curry powder, half the chilli flakes, the cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 

Assemble everything. Combine the eggs, with the cooled cauliflower and onion, the radishes and the tarragon and add the sauce. Mix this together well, and spoon the mixture onto a large serving plate. Sprinkle over the remaining chilli flakes, and little bit of chopped tarragon, and garnish with the lemon wedges. Bon appetit!

I've learned not to be concerned when my day isn't planned. The need to plan is such a spin off from working all of my life, when my days were pretty much planned out, but now it's amazing how unplanned days become some of the best. The simple things in a day can bring me the most pleasure and make me smile. An early morning walk around the garden now that's it's Spring, the discovery of a tomato on our new tomato bush that is ripening, and the flowers emerging on the bean vines with the promise of a good crop to come in the Summer months hopefully. We bought a Cumquat tree last week, a dwarf Nagami, however I've learned that in the tropics dwarf can mean normal sized, normal can mean giant. Given the success of my latest cumquat marmalade, and Mr. HRK's love for jams and marmalades especially cumquat, we invested in a tree. So the unruly pumpkin vines came out and a kumquat tree went in. 

Another early morning discovery, there are buds on the tree, so exciting. Now the million dollar question is should we remove the buds so the tree has a chance to strengthen for 12 months, as we do with lemon and lime trees, or do do we allow it to yield a crop this Summer. Of course I am with letting the buds develop into fruit because cumquats are only a small fruit and surely the tree can handle it?? Anyway I'll do some more research and we will make a decision.

Happy Friday my friends, and I haven't forgotten what a wonderful feeling it was when I was working to reach Friday. If you have a chance to try this Curried Egg and Cauliflower Salad on the weekend, I hope you enjoy it, it's a cinch to make and what I love from a cook's perspective  is that the various stages can be prepared in advance and the dish assembled just before serving. Otherwise, It will be perfectly delicious for Meat Free Monday.

There are more Covid lock downs threatening Queensland, will the football finals go ahead? I hope despite all of the inconveniences being experienced by everyone around the world, you still manage to have a great weekend, finding joy in the simplest things.

Warmest wishes,



  1. That looks like a really yummy meal! Wish I could have some too.

  2. I see your government is allowing Australians to come home next month! That won't work if there are lockdowns for sure. I heard the term Poulet Reine Elizabeth for the first time this week when we were watching Pointless. A British quiz show that we enjoy. Have a super weekend.

    1. We discovered Pointless when we were living in England, great show, and we have seen some of them here as well. Covid outbreak seems to be contained at present and the Rugby league Grand Final is going ahead shortly so it's all good.Long weekend here which is nice.Thanks so much Tandy.

  3. this looks great pauline. love cauli, and eggs and radishes ... but wow 9 eggs!

  4. Yes I love this combination too, and I could have even actually added another couple of eggs. 9 wasn't too many at all and they are replacing meat.

    Take care and thanks Sherry.

  5. Pauline, of course the footy finals would go ahead 🤔 My hubby and I said lockdown would probably happen after they were finished. LOL! Thanks for the recipe. I have pinned it for future reference.

    1. Thanks Chel, Hope you enjoy the recipe. The footy finals went ahead, but our team didn't win. There's always next year:)

  6. What an amazing-looking salad! Yes, I'm one of those people who can't wait until Friday, even though I love my job.

    1. Thanks Jeff, yes that's probably 90 % of the population:) Hope you get to try this salad.

  7. Sounds really delicious, Pauline. Great minds must think a like, because my post for next Saturday is actually an egg curry.

    1. Thanks so much, I'll look forward to your recipe, curried eggs have always been a family favourite; using Keen's curry powder in the old days, I'm sure yours will be a revelation.

  8. O might not be a huge fan of curry / spicy food in general, but this salad idea sounds delicious to me. Really loving all the textures and flavours going on here!

    1. Thanks so much Ben, great to hear from you, and this one actually isn't that spicy, and it's very versatile.

  9. We've been retired for some time, and still really enjoy that Friday freedom feeling. :-) Anyway, this looks terrific! I often made a similar curried egg dish, but next time I'm going to add cauliflower to the mix. So good looking! Thanks.

    1. Thanks so much KR, these two make a delicious combo.


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