Tabbouleh is a Lebanese herb salad, traditionally made with cracked wheat––or Americanized with couscous. I had tabbouleh for the first time a few years ago when my cousin who I was staying with for a few days introduced it to me. I'd never had any Middle Eastern food before, so I didn't know what to expect. The salad had such a wonderful blend of flavors that I'd never really tried before––mint's not too popular in Italian food. After trying it for the first time, I loved it, I wanted more, but at the time, I was living at home with no Middle Eastern restaurants around. I ended up buying the couscous tabbouleh mix in a box from the super market––so not authentic, or healthy. I've learned better since then and started making it on my own, essentially following this recipe but using actual couscous as the wheat instead of the cauliflower from my Paleo version. It's delicious any way you have it. In this version, you really can't even taste the cauliflower, it looks, feels, and tastes just like couscous––you'll almost feel like you're cheating!
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 20 min Total Time: 35 min Serves: 6
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
1½ cups fresh mint
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
½ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
Place cauliflower florets into a food processor and process until they resemble rice or couscous. Bring a large saucepan to medium heat, toss the riced cauliflower with 2 tbsp olive oil, pour into the pan, and saute for about 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning and sticking.
While the cauliflower is cooking, rinse and thoroughly dry your food processor, place in the fresh parsley and mint and pulse a few times, until finely chopped. Pour the chopped herbs into a large mixing bowl.
Add the scallion, tomato, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper and sea salt to the bowl, mix well.
When the cauliflower is done cooking, add it to the mixing bowl of herbs and vegetables along with the remaining ½ cup of olive oil. Mix until well combined, and let sit for at least 30 minutes. This dish is best served at room temperature, but if not eating it right away, it can be refrigerated for a day or so. Just remember to let it come to room temperature before serving!