Recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

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Parve Parve
Easy Easy
4 Servings


- Tree nuts

The little grains in this bright, light salad, a culinary trompe l’oeil, are not cracked wheat, tabbouleh’s classic ingredient, but slightly crunchy grated raw cauliflower. The florets are cut from their stems (which you can use for soup or cook and add to mashed potatoes), grated and tossed with tabbouleh’s traditional flavorings: lemon juice, mint, parsley and just a little olive oil. Made with cauliflower, the time-honored salad moves into the twenty-first century.


I like to add golden raisins (for sweetness and chew) and chopped unblanched almonds (for crunch), but the list of possible toss-ins is endless. Consider celery, carrots, scallions, red onions, beets, apples (rub the cut apples with lemon juice to keep them from browning), cucumbers or even pickles. As long as whatever you add is finely chopped or diced — the salad is nicest when all the ingredients are mini and a similar size — you can go on whatever tangent calls to you. This is less a recipe than a terrific idea and a template for playing around.


A Word on Grating: You can grate the florets in a food processor, either by pulsing the machine or fitting it with a grating blade, but I use the large holes on a box grater. It takes about 6 minutes to run through a big head of cauliflower, and the cleanup is quick.


Main ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) moist, plump golden (or dark) raisins

  • 1 large head cauliflower

  • 1 cup (155 grams) Gefen Organic Chickpeas or canned chickpeas, drained and patted dry

  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) finely chopped unblanched almonds

  • 1/4 cup (10 grams) finely chopped fresh mint

  • 1/4 cup (10 grams) finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro


Prepare the Tabbouleh


Check your raisins: If they’re not plump and soft, put them in a bowl of hot tap water and set them aside to soak. When you’re ready for them, drain and pat dry.


Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower. Cut it in half from top to bottom and then crosswise into quarters. There are several ways to grate the cauliflower: You can use the largest holes on a box grater, a Microplane grater with large holes or the grating blade of a food processor. You can also use the regular metal blade of the processor, but make certain that you pulse in super-short spurts and stop the instant you get granules — grate too long, and you’ll lose the texture, which is what this dish is all about. If it’s not already in a big bowl, put the cauliflower in one now.


Add the chickpeas, almonds, herbs, and raisins. Finely grate the zest of one lemon over the tabbouleh and then squeeze in the juice, tossing the salad lightly with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle over the olive oil and toss to incorporate. Taste the salad and see if you’d like more salt, pepper, lemon zest, juice and/or oil. I usually use the zest and juice of one and a half lemons and two tablespoons olive oil, but lemons vary in size and tartness.


Serve the salad or, preferably, cover it tightly and refrigerate it for at least an hour.


I usually serve the salad alongside something grilled — it’s great with fish — or as the base of a grain bowl (albeit one that only looks like grain). Or top the tabbouleh with grilled and/or steamed vegetables, salad greens and something pickled; or dress it up and serve it as a dinner-party starter, pairing it with spiced yogurt and roasted carrots, a wedge of roasted squash or sweet potatoes.


Packed into a tightly covered container, the salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.


Cauliflower Tabbouleh is excerpted from Everyday Dorie © 2018 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

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Leah Goldman
Leah Goldman
5 years ago

great instead of fresh cauliflower can we use the heaven and earth riced cauliflower and how many 14 oz bags equal one large cauliflower. thank you

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Reply to  Leah Goldman
5 years ago

Try one and a half..