Confession: I’ve recently figured out that I really don’t like eating lettuce leaves salad. I love salads, don’t get me wrong, but there is something so blah about lettuce. But I digress because this isn’t a post about lettuce leaves.
Did you know that you can get cauliflower to act as “cous cous” in a salad like tabbouleh or “rice” with your main? It’s a trick I’ve seen almost everywhere on the web and I have no idea where it originates from. Of course it works because cauliflower carries other flavours very well. The benefit of using cauliflower instead of cous cous or rice is because cauliflower is low starch vegetable. I love this because it doesn’t leave you feeling so heavy and lethargic after the meal. Cauliflower is also an excellent source of vitamin C, K and folate. It even has a bit of omega-3 fatty acids. Who would’ve thought that such a colourless vegetable could pack such a punch?
To make the cauliflower cous cous/rice, you simply grate it either with a grater or with your food processor’s grating attachment. Then you lightly steam it, and if you like, drizzle some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. SO easy.
We had a parsley plant that was on it’s way out so I cut up all the leaves from there to make this tabbouleh. It was a little less than I wanted, so the recipe below will provide my ideal amount of parsley. Parsley is a killer source of vitamin K, C and A, and add to that some folate and iron for some serious health benefits. It goes really well in a green juice – always add a citrus to cut through the bitterness of green veg!
- 1 large cauliflower
- 1 medium sized red onion
- about 100g cherry tomatoes, or more if you prefer
- 3 handfuls of parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Create cous cous out of cauliflower by grating up the raw cauliflower. You can do this by hand with a grater, or you could use the grater attachment of your food processor if you have one. It takes seconds with the food processor. You'll end up a huge pile of grains of cauliflower!
- For this amount of cauliflower, I used a large pot and poured in a shallow layer of water on the bottom, just enough to coat to about ½ a centimeter. Place all the cauliflower into the pot, put the lid on and turn on the heat to medium. Let the cauliflower steam for about 4-5 minutes. The cauliflower should be tender but not soft. Turn off the heat.
- Tip: After making this, I saw Jamie Oliver make cauliflower rice on his Save with Jamie series. On the episode, he simply places the grated cauliflower into a glass bowl, sticks a cling film on and microwaves it for 5-7 minutes. If you're not opposed to microwaves, you could try this method. No water necessary.
- As the cauliflower cools, cut up the red onion finely, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and roughly chop the parsley leaves. Zest one lemon to get 1 teaspoon of zest - zest is so full of lemony flavour, so don't skip this!
- Next, just toss together the cauliflower cous cous and the rest of the vegetables and the zest. Drizzle over the olive oil and the juice of half a lemon, season with salt and pepper, and mix everything together. Serve the tabbouleh as a salad or side with a Mediterranean main like a simple grilled fish, grilled meat skewers or meatballs. Simply delicious!
Enjoy! xx, Bee