This roasted cauliflower tabbouleh is a light, refreshing Middle Eastern salad with enough lemony goodness to really lift your spirits. It’s perfect for any season, and we’ll be using cauliflower rice instead of bulgur.
What is Cauliflower Tabbouleh?
Cauliflower rice tabbouleh is truly infused with all the Mediterranean goodness you can imagine. Every last bite tastes refreshing and sun-soaked. It’s an awesome side dish if you’re having marinated grilled meats or seafood. You could also try eating it on its own as a tasty vegetarian treat.
Perhaps best of all, this salad is very easy to make. You can get this salad started before you prepare your main course and they’ll be ready at the same time. Not bad!
Where Does Tabbouleh Come From?
Tabbouleh is the national food of Lebanon. The word itself comes from the Arabic word “taabil,” which means seasoning or spice. Tabbouleh is a seasoned vegetarian dish that has become very popular throughout the world, typically served with some fairly filling grains rather than cauliflower rice. It was initially popularized throughout the sphere of Arabic influence and throughout the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean, but today tabbouleh is a global sensation.
In this recipe, we’re using cauliflower rice instead of bulgar, the traditional grain, to make a delicious variation on this Arabic classic. It’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans, too!
The key ingredients for this cauliflower tabbouleh recipe are listed below. You can change or adapt any of these as you need to, but we recommend that you try the recipe as it is before altering anything.
- Cauliflower: You can pick up a head of cauliflower at the grocery store and rice it yourself, or pick up a bag of pre-riced cauliflower from your produce section. We’d recommend avoiding frozen cauliflower, riced or otherwise.
- Parsley and mint: They are used in this recipe to add brightness and zest to your tabbouleh. Be sure to chop your herbs finely.
- Green onions: These mild-tasting onions are perfect for the light, summery character of this salad.
- Tomatoes: You have a few options when it comes to tomatoes. You can go big or small, but either way we recommend that you deseed and dice your tomatoes for use in this salad.
- Chickpeas: You can leave them out for a low carb salad.
- Olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and garlic. This is what we use to make our simple, delicious tabbouleh dressing. The lemon juice is really bright, and the garlic adds depth of flavor and balance to the overall flavor palate of this dish.
- Salt and red chili flakes. Classic flavor enhancers.
- Cumin seeds
- Olive oil
- Toasted almond nuts: You can use any nuts you like.
How to Make Cauliflower Tabbouleh
This dish is super easy to make. We’ve outlined the key steps below.
- First, whisk your dressing ingredients together in another bowl. Keep aside.
- Next, you’ll want to rice your cauliflower in the food processor. You could also use riced cauliflower from the store. Transfer to a bowl and add the cumin, salt, red chili flakes and oil. Mix to combine.
- Spread the cauliflower mixture on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake it for 20-25 minutes and allow to cool. Once you’ve done this, dice your other veggies and put them all in a large bowl.
- Pour half of your dressing over the top of your salad before covering and placing in the fridge. Allow your salad to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes prior to serving. Garnish with almond nuts and green onions just before serving.
Cauliflower Tabbouleh Tips
We’ve assembled a few tips and tricks to help take your tabbouleh to the next level.
- You should let your salad rest for about 15 minutes in the fridge before you serve it up. This will allow your salad dressing to nicely coat all your veggies, infusing them with plenty of flavor.
- If you’re ricing your cauliflower yourself, we recommend using a food processor. Use your food processor to pulse the cauliflower chunks into medium-sized pieces that look like rice. Don’t pulse it too much, though, or else you’ll end up liquefying your cauliflower.
- You can swap out any of the herbs or veggies in this recipe depending on your preferences. Red onions, shallots, lettuce, or avocados are all wonderful additions to the traditional tabbouleh recipe.
- You can also replace your cauliflower with more traditional cooked grains like bulgar, farro, or quinoa.
- There are a few options you can use for toppings, as well. Crumbled feta cheese or pomegranate seeds make a welcome addition for the extra texture and flavor they provide. Add any toppings after refrigeration, right before serving time.
What Else Can You Add to Tabbouleh?
You can very easily adapt this recipe to your own preferences. You can take out any ingredients you don’t like, and add ones that you do.
In addition to our list of ingredients, popular additions include bell peppers, cilantro or pomegranate seeds.
You can keep any leftover tabbouleh in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days. Be sure to toss it with freshly chopped parsley before serving.
Avoid freezing this salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Tabbouleh is meant to be served chilled or at room temperature. It is not a hot salad.
Instead of cauliflower rice, traditional tabbouleh uses bulgar wheat. Other ingredients include parsley, diced cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil dressing.
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