I usually associate cauliflower with the fall and winter months, but when a cauliflower popped up in our CSA last week, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve made cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and cauliflower “rice,” but it dawned on me that I had never tried cauliflower “couscous.” Cold grain salads have always been a staple in my family in the summer months; they’re perfect paired with grilled veggies, meat, fish and even other salads. But if you’re trying to avoid grains or just lower your carb intake, this cauliflower couscous is the perfect alternative.
Cauliflower couscous has such a mild flavor, that I decided to spice it up with a ginger cinnamon dressing, dried apricots and cashews. The dressing, inspired by Ottolenghi, may sound weird, but trust me: you’ll want to put it on everything. This dish is seasonally versatile: eat it cold in the summer, serve warm in the winter. Either way, enjoy!
WHY IT’S HEALTHY// Cauliflower couscous extremely healthy and is paleo, vegan and gluten free. Cauliflower is relatively low in carbohydrates and high in glucosinolates, compounds containing sulfer, that may help lower the risk of cancer. Cauliflower is also high in Vitamin C, which your body needs to produce collagen (think healthy skin, teeth and bones). Cauliflower also adds vitamin K to your diet, an essential vitamin. Ginger root is a digestive stimulant and helps with blood circulation. Dates are condensed energy sources, also high in essential vitamins and minerals. Unlike refined sugars, dates are good for digestion because of their fiber content. Dates are also relatively high in iron, potassium, and magnesium, which help with metabolism, muscle contractions and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Cashews are full of healthy fats particularly oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Cashews are also great for hair, skin and bone health due to their copper and magnesium content. //
- 2 heads cauliflower
- ½ cup roasted cashews
- ⅓ cup apricots, cut into raisin-sized pieces
- 4 scallions, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons dates (I used regular, dried, chopped)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make the cauliflower couscous: coarsely chop the cauliflower florets (some of the stem is fine) and place in a food processor. Process until the texture and consistency of couscous. You may need to do this in two batches.
- Spread the cauliflower couscous evenly on a baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Make the dressing: add all ingredients into a high speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy.
- When the cauliflower couscous has cooled, put it in a large mixing bowl, stir in the dressing and the remaining ingredients and serve! You may wish to reserve some of the add-ins to sprinkle on top.