Tabbouleh is one of those foods I always struggled with as a child. I feel the more I post in this blog, the more secrets I spill about my odd childhood food hatreds, such as the little black spots inside of bananas. (Yes. That’s still a strange one, admittedly…) I loved the taste of tabbouleh, but the bulgur wheat was not a texture I enjoyed. My parents usually made their own version of tabbouleh, augmented by a box of Near East. I’d find myself slowly eating it at the dinner table, face scrunched as I tried to chew the bulgur into something palatable enough for me to swallow. Rarely did that work.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve enjoyed making tabbouleh en masse. It’s one of those wonderful dishes that gets better days after it’s been made. I’ve tried it with the bulgur wheat; even as a 30 year old woman, that childhood texture issue still creeps in. (I suppose there are some things in life you can’t get over: certain guys that broke your heart years ago, a dislike of bulgur wheat, and so on…) I’ve made batches with regular cous cous. I prefer the texture overall, but it does tend to get a little too mushy after a few days of marinating in the fridge.
Vegetable noodles are all the rage, and goodness I knows I’ve made and consumed a few hundred feet of zoodles in the past few months. Cauliflower has its merits, as well. It’s an amazing blank slate in the food world. A good food processor will set you well on your way to replacing traditional grains with cauliflower rice or cous cous. I also find the cauliflower to hold up better after a few days in the fridge. Hell yeah for hearty cruciferous veggies!
FYI: This recipe has been vetted by my roommate, Liz, who is vegan. She ate two bowls the first time I made it. I’m sorry my now-former roommate, Emily, wasn’t there to share in it! I might have to invest in a vacuum sealer to ship her my food creations when she moves down to Duke this summer. 😉
Tabbouleh with Cauliflower Cous Cous
– 1 large head of cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor to the consistency of cous cous
– 1 cup scallions, minced (green and white parts)
– 1 cup fresh mint leaves, finely minced
– 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
– 1 large cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and diced
– 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– Juice of two lemons (equates to roughly 1/4 cup lemon juice)
– Salt & pepper, to taste
Before We Get Started…
Cauliflower just does not turn into cous cous on its own, I have come to learn. However, the process is quite simple! To make cous cous, cut cauliflower into small florets, discarding the leaves and stalks. Add cauliflower to food processor and pulse until its the consistency of cous cous.
In a large flat saucepan, bring roughly 1/8 of a cup of water to a simmer. Add cauliflower in a even layer across the bottom of the pan and cook on low for 2 – 3 minutes. Place a layer of paper towels on a large cookie sheet; remove cauliflower from pan and spread on top of paper towels in an even layer. Place in refrigerator to cool, or leave out to cool at room temperature. Gently dab top of cauliflower with more towels to remove excess moisture, if necessary. Place cauliflower in large bowl for later use.
1.) In large bowl, combine all ingredients, and add salt and pepper to taste. Place in refrigerator to sit.
See? Easy peasy! A little TOO easy, perhaps. Hmmmmm…