Harissa Cauliflower Tabbouleh

I’ve been watching the recent-ish trend for vegan and paleo food from the sidelines, mainly because it is almost 100% incompatible with a nut and coconut allergy. Bummer.
Harrissa Cauli Tabbouleh

Whilst vegan and paleo baking tends to be based on cashews and coconut, the savoury recipes tend to be all about that veg, which is something I can get on board with. Although I’m not a full vegetarian, I only eat meat a few times a week, so I’m always looking for interesting new ways of using veg. Pinterest, Instagram & loads of the Blogs I follow have been raving about the joys of cauliflower for a while, and I have been 100% on board with it. Whole roasted cauli, curried cauli, cauli tacos… just don’t talk to me about cauli pizza crust. I draw the line there.

Harissa Cauli Tabbouleh above

So when I saw a cauliflower tabbouleh recipe I was intrigued.  A very lovely friend had already recommended cauli ‘rice’ to me, so I thought I would give cauli ‘bulgur wheat’ a try. I combined the recipe with harissa, as it combines all my current favourite flavours – and I have three jars of home made harissa staring at me from the fridge!

The result is a fresh, spicy and surprisingly filling salad with lots of colour. I’ve made it several times now with different vegetable combinations and it makes an excellent packed lunch (just take the dressing in a small jar).

Harissa Tabbouleh 3

Harissa Cauliflower Tabbouleh (Nut-free, Gluten-free, Vegan)

(Combined recipes of BBC Cauliflower Tabbouleh and Siba’s Harrissa Tabbouleh)

Tabbouleh Ingredients

1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed of leaves and the woody part of the stem

Large bunch of asparagus, woody stems trimmed off and the remainder cut into inch long pieces

Mug of frozen broad beans

Mug of frozen peas

Small bunch of each coriander and mint, finely chopped


1/2 tsp harissa paste, or more to taste (I used home made stuff which is very hot)

Juice of 1 lemon

Olive oil, equal parts to the lemon juice

Salt & lots of black pepper

1. First, make your cauliflower ‘bulgur wheat’. Chop the cauli into small enough pieces to fit in a food processor. Blitz until it looks like rice. Don’t over process. [If you don’t have a processor try using a cheese grate – it’ll just take longer!]

2. Heat a large frying pan with a splash of oil to a medium heat. Sauté the cauliflower, stirring often, for about 5 mins. I let mine go until it was starting to turn nice and toasty around the edges. Put on a large plate to cool.

3. Pop on the kettle. Wipe out the pan and put back on the heat. Sauté the asparagus stems for a few mins until they start to go bright green, then add the tips for a min. Meanwhile, pour boiling water over the frozen broad beans in the mug. Add the frozen peas to the frying pan and turn off the heat (the residual heat with defrost them).

4. Pop the broad beans out of their pods. You don’t need to do this step, but I find the pods a bit bitter.

5. Now make the dressing. Put the ingredients in a jar and shake it to combine. Season to taste.

6. When you’re ready to eat, combine the ingredient together and pour over the dressing. If you’re making it to eat later, save the dressing and pour over when you’re ready to eat.

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