You might have heard of cauliflower ‘rice’, but have you tried cauliflower ‘couscous’? It’s a healthier, less starchy, gluten-free take on a traditional couscous salad and can be made with a variety of tasty ingredients, herbs and spices.
My fragrant cauliflower couscous recipe is from my Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook
. Instead of using wheat-based couscous, I am using crunchy cauliflower that’s been ground up into small crumbs. The dish is Moroccan inspired and flavoured with warm spices, such as cumin and coriander seed, which pair beautifully with lemon and garlic.
While there is nothing wrong with using regular couscous, this paleo friendly recreation packs a lot more nutrients and is perfect for those trying to avoid wheat/gluten or grains. It’s also something a little different!
I usually serve this dish with grilled lamb cutlets or oven-baked fish but it’s lovely as is and makes a great addition to any festive table.
Once you get this basic recipe down, you can play around and create your own variation of this dish. Check out this idea for beetroot and cauliflower couscous with toasted hazelnuts.
Fragrant Cauliflower Couscous
1/2 head of large cauliflower
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup pistachios (in shells) or 1/3 cup (shelled)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander seed powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup pomegranate kernels (optional)
Handful of chopped parsley
Cut the cauliflower into florets and process into small crumbs using a food processor. I do this in batches, transferring the crumbed mixture from each batch of cauliflower to a bowl.
In a large frying pan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add most of the nuts (reserve a few for garnish) and the garlic to a food processor. Grind into crumbs and add to the onions in the frying pan. Add the olive oil, lemon zest, spices, salt and dried cranberries and stir through for a minute, allowing the aromas to be released and the garlic to cook through slightly.
Add the cauliflower crumbs, lemon juice, pomegranate and parsley and stir through with the nut and garlic mixture until well incorporated. Cook for about 2 minutes, until heated through and soften slightly.
Serve with extra nuts, parsley and pomegranate on top.
Irena Macri is the creator of Eat Drink Paleo food blog and the co-founder of the 9-week Happy Body Formula programme.