Tabbouleh Salad with Riced Cauliflower

Tabbouleh cauliflower1

Tabbouleh cauliflower2

Recently, I served this dish at a Lunch and Learn with Marcia Sevic, of “Be Provided” nutritional consultant. We had an engaging time at the table with 9 attendees. After lunch, Marcia gave a slide show outlining the FOOD – MOOD connection. Read more about this event here.

Food Mood connection Lunch and Learn

This recipe uses cauliflower in place of bulgar (or couscous, rice) as is traditionally used in a Tabbouleh Salad.

The cauliflower can be lightly steamed or raw. I use a food processor, one of my favorite small appliances, that chops food in bulk to whatever size I need. See link, below, if you need to purchase a food processor.

Alternatively, you’ll spend more time at the cutting board to chop all the veggies to small bits (to the size of rice).
Tabbouleh cauliflower, tabouli

Tabbouleh Salad with Riced Cauliflower


1 head cauliflower, include the leaf ribs (optional to remove the green leafy parts)

1 bunch parsley, leaves only (curly leaf or flat leaf)

1 bunch mint, leaves only

1 cucumber, peeled (medium size, about 10 inches)

1 bunch scallions

1 lemon, juice and zest

1 Tbls olive oil (cold press extra virgin)

1 tsp sea salt

Garnish: 1 tsp chopped olives per serving (see notes, below)


1) Heat water in large pot with steamer basket and tight-fitting lid. Chop the cauliflower to bite-size pieces. Steam cauliflower covered with tight-fitting lid until al dente, firm but not too soft, about 10 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, put the parsley and mint leaves in a food processor.

3) Cut the cucumber and scallions to bite-size pieces, and add to the food processor.

4) Add the oil, lemon and salt.

5) Pulse until the veggies are small size, similar to the size of rice.

6) Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

7) When cauliflower is done, put the hot pieces in a cold water bath with ice until cool, about a minute, and drain. Or spread the hot cauliflower pieces on a large plate or baking sheet in order to cool quickly.

8) Put a 1/3 the cooled cauliflower in the food processor and pulse until it’s small kernels, similar to the size of rice and add to the veggie mixture. Repeat two more times with a 1/3 of the cauliflower at each time. (NOTE: Processing a 1/3 of the cauliflower at time is to avoid uneven-sized pieces.)

9) Serve with the chopped olives.


Best to use black olives packed in brine, or salt cured black olives. Avoid these olives: packed in olive oil, with herbs or other additives.

Use only the greens of the scallions to tone down the onion flavor.

Use less salt and add more olives and or use the olive juice.

If the cauliflower is overcooked to a soft texture it’ll blend up very creamy and you’ll have an alternative to “mashed potatoes.” Which is okay if you can switch gears and serve mashed cauliflower instead of riced cauliflower. If that happens, click here to see my mashed cauliflower recipe.

Go here to purchase my favorite food processor….and scroll down to the “TOOLS” and click on “small appliances.”

Serve with Chicken or Egg Salad Lettuce Boat

Chicken salad lettuce wrap1

Chicken salad lettuce wrap2

Chicken and Egg Salad Lettuce Boats