Side dish

Cauliflower Couscous

Couscous anyone?

We just finished having our kitchen painted, inside and out. Just cleaning out the cabinets and two pantries for the painters had my head spinning. The amount of STUFF that we had to find a resting place for a week was crazy. With a lifetime of cooking gadgets, pans, dishes, would I be able to get rid of anything? I thought I could go through everything as we unloaded everything but that was not possible. I found myself saying “oh, isn’t this cute, I could use this for a blog post”. When all was painted and we waited patiently the 4 days before putting things back in their space, I had only gotten rid of one table worth of things. In fact. I threw away my stovetop pizelle maker and ordered an electric one from Amazon.

I don’t know why I thought I needed to clean out my refrigerator during this project, maybe because we ate out for a week, but I found this cauliflower hiding in my refrigerator and came across this coop site and this recipe for cauliflower couscous.

Couscous is a North African dish made with steamed balls of semolina. Pititim is Israeli couscous. The only difference I see in the two varieties I find in the store is that the Israeli couscous is a lot larger grain (I prefer the Israeli over the smaller version.)

So, if you can’t eat wheat or you are trying to cut out some of your wheat try this cauliflower version of couscous.

Cauliflower to me has always been such a boring vegetable. Never cared for it on a vegetable platter; fried ok but what’s not good fried? I’ve tried making some cauliflower steaks out of slices with some oil and pepper, just ok, nothing memorable.

Have you tried my cauliflower potato salad yet? It’s wonderful, and you would almost not know that it didn’t have potatoes in it. What’s your favorite way to prepare cauliflower?

BLAST FROM THE PAST: My Winter White Vegetable Soup is one of my favorite soups using cauliflower as one of the “white” ingredients.



Either use a food process or a little chef’n chopper to finely chop your cauliflower.


Cook the cauliflower for about 5-6 minutes in a skillet until just tender.


Saute the shallots or onions.


Add the asparagus to the onion and saute  for about 4-5 minutes then add the lemon juice and lemon zest.



Fold the asparagus into the cauliflower then add in the toasted pine nuts.


Cauliflower Couccous with Asparagus and Peas
Brightly flavored side dish with cauliflower stands in for a wheat-free alternative to couscous.
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  1. 1 head cauliflower
  2. 12 ounces asparagus
  3. 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed
  4. 1/3 cup pine nuts
  5. Zest and juice of one lemon
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  7. 1 small shallot, minced
  8. 2 tablespoons mint leaves, julienned
  9. 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
  10. Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Break the cauliflower florets apart, cutting the larger ones down until all the pieces are roughly the same size. Place the florets in a food processor and use 8-12 quick pulses to reduce the cauliflower size and texture to slightly smaller than a grain of rice.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt to a simmer. Add the cauliflower in a single layer. Bring back to a simmer, reduce heat a little, cover and cook cauliflower 5 minutes, or just enough to take the raw edge off, but not so much it becomes soft or loses texture. Remove the cauliflower from the skillet and drain in a colander or mesh strainer, then place in a medium serving bowl.
  3. Heat a small, dry skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and stir frequently. Toast just until they smell nutty and have begun to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus, then cut each spear on the bias into 1-inch lengths. Wipe out the skillet used for the cauliflower, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté gently for a couple minutes, until translucent. Add the asparagus and continue sautéing a few minutes more, just until the asparagus is al dente. Add the lemon zest and juice, fresh thyme and salt and pepper and cook another 30 seconds or so.
  5. Add the shallot-asparagus mixture, peas, pine nuts and mint to the cauliflower. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss gently to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Coop
Adapted from Coop
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