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Tabbouleh is a middle-eastern herb salad traditionally made with bulgur – or cracked wheat. This grain-free cauliflower tabbouleh, I substitute finely chopped cauliflower for the bulgur and load up on fresh herbs.
The name tabbouleh means “little spicy”, derived from the Arabic tabbula – to spice. Israeli style tabbouleh is more bulgur-heavy, I prefer the herb dominated Lebanese style.
There are a few ways to vary the recipe. Starting with a base of parsley, scallions and mint you can add chopped cucumbers or green peppers, use pomegranate seeds instead of tomatoes, or even add some cinnamon, allspice, or sumac (a middle eastern herb that adds a tart, lemony flavor).
I lightly steamed the cauliflower bits before adding it to the salad, but you can leave it raw if you prefer. Read my detailed post on how to make cauliflower rice using a food processor. You can replace the cauliflower rice with quinoa for another gluten free version (though not grain-free). Read how not to avoid mushy quinoa.
Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur (cracked wheat) that is soaked in water for thirty minutes and drained. This grain-free version uses finely chopped cauliflower.
Yield: 4 servings
1/3-1/2 cup cauliflower rice
1 large bunch organic flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch finely chopped mint
2 tomatoes, chopped or 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 green pepper, chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 or 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Optional – a pinch of ground allspice and cinnamon
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and serve with Romaine lettuce leaves.