Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Source: Dorie Greenspan, author, Everyday Dorie

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

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.

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on November 10, 2018.

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.

If you have time, it’s best to chill the salad for at least an hour.

Makes 4 servings

¼ cup moist, plump, golden or dark raisins
1 large head cauliflower 
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and patted dry
¼ cup finely chopped unblanched almonds
¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1 to 2 lemons
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste

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 larger holes on a box grater, a Microplane greater with the larger 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 granule- 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 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. Serve the salad or, preferably, cover it tightly and refrigerate it for at least an hour.  

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