Cauliflower Zahlouk

Source: Joyce Goldstein, Inside the California Food Revolution

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on August 9, 2014.

In Morocco, zahlouk is the name for a chopped or mashed vegetable salad. It is most commonly associated with eggplant, but can be applied to other vegetables as well. In Tunisia, this kind of salad is called ajlouk. Cauliflower can be too strong for some palates. Dressing it with charmoula seems to tame its aggressive and cabbagey nature. For contrast in color and texture, I like to fold in some cubes of zucchini or green beans for color and cooked chickpeas for toothsome chewiness.

Servers 4 to 6


¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup each chopped parsley and chopped cilantro
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1 cauliflower, cut into florets (about 1 pound)
4 cloves garlic
1 long strip of lemon peel
½ cup charmoula thinned with lemon juice (see recipe above)
1 or 2 small zucchini, parboiled and cut into ½-inch dice (or 2 ounces green beans, blanched)
½ cup cooked chickpeas
A few oil-cured olives


1.    Make the charmoula: mix the lemon juice, minced garlic, paprika, and cumin in a mixing bowl until smooth. Whisk in the parsley, cilantro, and olive oil. If necessary, add more oil so the charmoula is not too thick. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

2.    Steam the cauliflower with the garlic cloves and lemon peel in lightly salted water. When it is very tender, mash it coarsely and stir in ½ cup of the charmoula dressing. Alternatively, you can steam the cauliflower and then transfer it to a sauté pan along with the dressing. Sauté in the dressing and mash right in the pan. You can also roast the cauliflower florets in a hot oven until tender. When cooked, toss with the charmoula.

3.   Fold in the cubes of cooked zucchini or green beans and the chickpeas. Garnish with the olives.

Photo by Jennifer Kregear.

Farmers Market Ingredients