Wednesday 6 February 2019

Cauliflower Tabouli with Fennel and Sweet corn

This tabouli/tabbouleh has so much going for it. It's packed with vibrant vegetables. And the flavours are phenomenal. It tastes like summer. Zingy fresh mint, sweet kernels of corn, lemony garlicky dressing, all bound together with nutty cauliflower rice.

It's quite filling on its own for a vegan meal, or add some extra protein with grilled tofu/tempeh or falafel. If you're in the paleo space, this salad is dreamy with grilled seafood (fish, prawns, calamari), chicken or pork chops - dusted with sumac spice and drizzled with olive oil.


If you haven't cooked with sumac before, sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that gives a gorgeous tangy smokey earthiness. It's available in supermarkets where we live but if you can't get your hands on any, you can substitute lemon pepper or lemon zest and a dash of smokey paprika.

This salad is also super versatile. Sweetcorn not in season? Mix it up with quartered cherry tomatoes or diced red capsicum. Broccoli/broccolini on special? Grill up some florets and stir them through. Feel like a bit of heat? Add some finely diced chilli. Have some preserved lemons? Chop them up and stir it through for a zingy punch.

It's our new favourite salad at the mo. Can't get enough of it!

Cauliflower Tabouli with Fennel and Sweetcorn

Serves 4

Cauliflower rice

makes around 9 cups of cauliflower rice

1 large head of cauliflower

1. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Wash thoroughly and drain/dry as much as you can.

2. Process in a food processor until it resembles fine crumbs. Do half a cauliflower at a time to get the best results.

3. You can use the cauliflower rice raw or cooked. At this point you can freeze the cauliflower rice to use at a later date. Simply measure out around 3 cups worth in to zip lock bags, spread out in the bag into a layer and squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Keeps in the freezer for months. To defrost, pop the frozen bag into the fridge overnight. To use from frozen take out of the bag and in to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave covered on high for 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.

4. Cook the raw cauliflower right away by placing in a microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes (1100W) stirring at half way.

5. You can use the cauliflower rice to replace rice in meals (think curries, chilli con carne, stir fry, teriyaki etc). The raw cauliflower rice added to soups, stews or casseroles is a lovely thickener and ups the vege content.

Cauliflower Tabouli
3 cups cauliflower rice (~1/3 cauliflower)
1 bulb Florence fennel, including stalks and fronds
1 cup fresh flat leafed parsley
1 cup fresh mint leaves
3 sweet corn on cob, leave husks on
1 cucumber
1/2 large red onion, very finely diced
2 cups baby spinach and baby kale leaves
4-6 cloves garlic

Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp sumac spice 

1 tsp salt
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare the sweet corn - place the corn, husks and all on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 5 minutes, allow to cool for around 1 minute before taking husks off. I just leave it in the microwave after it has cooked and wait for the microwave to beep at me to remind me there's something in it. Use a sharp knife to cut ears of corn off the cob. Put in a large salad bowl.

2. Prepare the cucumber - Cut the cucumber in half horizontally and then in half again lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard. Finely dice the cucumber and add to your salad bowl.

3. Prepare the fennel bulb - Cut off the stalks and fronds, set aside. Cut the bulb in half along the length. Cut again into quarters. Cut out the tough heart of the bulb then roughly chop before adding to the food processor. Roughly chop the stalks and add to the food processor. Roughly chop the fronds and set aside.

4. In your food processor, process the fennel, garlic, parsley, mint, and salad greens until finely chopped. Add to the salad bowl along with the cauliflower rice (either raw or cooked, up to you!), fennel fronds and red onion and mix well.

5. Just before serving, add the dressing ingredients and mix well.

Variations / Serving ideas

Serve with grilled tofu/tempeh or falafel, grilled seafood (fish, prawns, calamari), chicken or pork chops - dusted with sumac spice and drizzled with olive oil

Toast some cashews, flaked almonds or pine nuts and stir through.
Add quartered cherry tomatoes or diced red capsicum.
Grill up some broccoli/broccolin florets and stir through.
Add 1 finely diced chilli for some heat.
Chop up preserved lemons and stir it through for a zingy punch.

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