Cauliflower tabbouleh

July 19, 2015  •  Category: ,

Cauliflower tabouleh

One thing that would describe very well the Beirutis’s love for all things trendy is the fact that every restaurant in town (or just about) has quinoa tabbouleh on their menu. It is even funnier when one remembers how vocal, even outraged,  Lebanese folks were about the French destroying their national salad, using couscous instead of bulgur (first major offense) and then only using a few sprigs of parsley (when it is supposed to be first and foremost a parsley salad).

Nobody seems to mind the quinoa, and now one finds it everywhere in supermarkets in Lebanon. Nobody seems to mind that the quinoa tabbouleh is also mostly quinoa and hints of parsley.

Well, I minded a bit. I really think quinoa does nothing to enhance tabbouleh and it was fine with bulgur. Still, when I saw cauliflower (it is in season now) the idea came to me to try it instead of quinoa or bulgur. I figured the experiment might appeal to my daughter who has been on a gluten-free diet lately.

The tabbouleh with cauliflower is light and fresh, and we both liked it. I steamed the cauliflower first to make it more digestible but it can be used raw.


Cauliflower tabouleh

Cauliflower tabbouleh

Joumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern July 19, 2015 Main Dish, Salads, vegan, salad, tabbouleh, tagged,

6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Passive Time: 3 minutes


1/2 head cauliflower cut into florets minus the stems
3 bunches Italian parsley chopped extra fine, leaves only
1 bunch scallions, chopped fine or 1 small red onion, chopped fine
3 large tomatoes, diced fine heritage if possible
6 sprigs fresh mint, leaves only chopped fine
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil more to taste
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice more to taste
1 teaspoon salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika optional, or a spice of your choice


chop cauliflower

1. Separate the cauliflower into florets, removing as much of the stems as possible (use them for a soup, or some dip). Steam till tender 3 minutes or so, then cool. Transfer to a food processor (or use a handheld grater) and pulse until the cauliflower looks like tiny pellets.

mise en place

2. Prepare the other ingredients and place all of them in a large bowl. Mix the lemon juice and olive oil, add the salt to taste and toss the salad prior to serving.

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7 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Velva says:

    The cauliflower is a nice alternative to the bulgar-actually, think it is really a creative use. I really like Tabbouleh and make it in the summer for lunches. I may take a cue from you and use cauliflower or maybe broccoli.

    As always, I enjoy blog, and your recipes.


  2. Nuts about food says:

    Love this idea and pinned it!

  3. Susan says:

    Great idea, Jourmana. I think my daughter would love this too! Our local cauliflower should be arriving at the farmers’ markets soon.

  4. Sylva T. says:

    Low-carb and low-cal substitute for bulgur with none of the guilt. 100% delicious!

  5. Fredrick says:

    Interesting….have not thought of this. Looks good.

  6. Nathalie says:

    Looks lovely! You might enjoy this one :
    Cauliflower couscous salad

    Serves 4-6

    large cauliflower (about 1 ½ pound of cauliflower florets)
    ounces raw cashewnuts
    ounces sultanas (gold raisins)
    tablespoons olive oil
    tablespoons lemon juice
    tablespoons minced parsley
    teaspoon za’atar (ou origan sêché)
    teaspoon cumin
    garlic clove, crushed
    teaspoon finely shredded lemon zest
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    Place the sultanas in a bowl and pour warm water over them. Leave the sultanas for about 15 minutes, until plump. Drain and discard the water.Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the cashewnuts and toast them for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden and gently charred. Stir frequently to make sure that cashewnuts do not burn. Let the cashewnuts cool. Cut the half of the cashewnuts into smaller pieces (or simply crush them with your hands). Break the cauliflower into florets, making sure to leave behind as much of the stem as possible. Chop the florets into smaller pieces. Transfer the cauliflower into food processor in batches, and pulse until the pieces are finely chopped and resemble couscous. Be careful not to over-process.In a large sauté pan, heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower couscous to the pan and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently. (J’ai sauté cette étape aussi et c’est bien).Remove the couscous from the heat and let it cool. Add the sultanas, cashewnuts, za’atar, cumin, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.Leave the couscous for about 15 minutes for the flavors to combine. Serve at room temperature.

  7. MyKabulKitchen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Joumana, my grandmother loves tabbouleh, but she was diagnosed with Celiac disease a few years, I cant wait to make this for her 🙂

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