You guys, I am in love... with a recipe. A recipe for cauliflower that is pretending to be cous cous and filled with herbs, spices, buttery cashews, and plump golden raisins. It's so good it's stupid. And easy, did I mention easy? And low-carb and healthy and gluten-free and vegan and all the things.
I am desperately trying to move away from grains and starches, but it is so hard when my brain had been programmed to think that dinner is meat, starch, vegetable (in that order in terms of importance). So anything like this that I can find that satisfies my need to have a starch, without really being one, is awesome. Oh yeah, and my husband LOVED it.
I served it as a side to some store-bought kebabs because of the distinctly Middle Eastern flavors. But I'm wondering if I can use the same technique and change up the flavorings (a la this post) to do some different things. Speaking of flavorings, this recipe uses a spice blend called za'atar that is super yummy. You should be able to find some in the spice section of your store, but if not here are two recipes to make your own.
Spiced Cauliflower "Couscous"
adapted from Food 52
1 large cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lbs of florets)
5 oz raw cashews
3 oz golden raisins
5 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp minced parsley
1/2 tsp za’atar
1/2 tsp cumin
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp finely shredded lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place the golden raisins in a bowl and pour warm water over them. Leave them to soak for about 15 minutes, until plump. Drain and discard the water.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the cashews and toast them for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden and gently charred. Stir frequently to make sure that they do not burn. Let cool, then cut the half of the cashews into smaller pieces (or simply crush them with your hands).
Break the cauliflower into florets, making sure to leave behind as much of the stem as possible. Chop the florets into smaller pieces. Transfer the cauliflower into food processor in batches, and pulse until the pieces are finely chopped and resemble couscous. Be careful not to over-process.
In a large sauté pan, heat three tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower couscous to the pan and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the couscous from the heat and let it cool.
Add the raisins, cashews, za’atar, cumin, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the remaining two tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Leave the couscous for about 15 minutes for the flavors to combine. Serve at room temperature.