Meet the lighter sibling of tabbouleh. Made with riced cauliflower instead of cracked wheat, it is every bit as delicious, but won’t make you feel stuffed after going back for seconds. I don’t know about you, but I can never stop at one serving of tabbouleh. I always go back for another helping, or when dining at home just the two of us, I keep visiting the serving bowl with my own fork: a little mindless bit here, another there as we talk about life, the mysterious process of bacterial iron uptake, or which brand of shoes could prevent my ankle from saying nasty things to me during a longer run. You know, real important stuff.
CAULIFLOWER A LA TABBOULEH
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)
1 head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
salt and pepper
2 cucumbers, seeded, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried mint)
1/3 cup parsley leaves, minced (or amount to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
zest and juice 1/2 lemon
Rice the cauliflower florets in a food processor, blender, or grating box. Heat the coconut oil (or other fat of your choice) on a large skillet, preferably non-stick. When the oil is hot, add the riced cauliflower, season lightly with salt and pepper, and move it around for a few minutes. Immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a dish to cool. I like to use a baking dish to get the cauli-rice well spread.
Add the cucumber, tomatoes and parsley to a bowl. Don’t be skimpy on the amount of parsley, and mince it very well. If using fresh mint, add it to the bowl too.
Make a quick and simple dressing with the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, add salt and pepper, dried mint if using it.
Add the cooled cauliflower rice to the veggies, pour the dressing on top and mix gently. It gets better with a little time in the fridge. Serve at room temperature.
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Comments: There are several ways to cook riced cauliflower, each with a slightly different outcome. When I enjoy it as I would real rice, I prefer to bake it. For this type of recipe, I’ve tried three ways: baked, microwaved, and sautéed in oil. I favored the third option because the texture was perfect to mimic cracked wheat. Baked would be my second choice, the problem is that the grains of cauliflower shrink a lot more in the oven. You can of course use any method you like, just make sure it is all at room temperature when you mix the fakebbouleh. As to the parsley, next time I will add more to my version. I love it and like my tabbouleh – fake or authentic – to be pretty “herbal.”
Next day leftovers were all I had for lunch. I did squirt a little more lemon juice on top because I believe there is never too much lemon on this type of preparation. It freshens up everything. One last thought before I leave you… I usually add a lot less dressing to salads than most recipes call for, so if you try this recipe, keep that in mind and consider doubling the amount. A touch of Maldon salt flakes right before indulging is not mandatory, but quite pleasant for the taste buds.
Dinner is served! Grilled chicken breasts were perfect with my fakebbouleh…
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