Cauliflower cous cous – a delicious alternative to the original! I have made cauliflower cous cous two different ways – one baked (this one here), which was a fantastic base for a salad or side dish, and the other steam fried which I then used as a base for my Middle Eastern Meatballs (see the recipe under ‘meat’). I call it steam frying because essentially it is pan frying, but because of the volume of the cauliflower after it has been broken up, there is moisture as well so it gets lightly steamed while it is being tossed around the pan. Both are delicious but the texture is different depending on what method of cooking you use. The baking yields a crispy, nuttier version of cauliflower and the steam frying gives a softer end product, so the end result you are looking for should determine which method you use. Both start the same way. Basically, you pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it is crumb-like. (You can also do this by hand by finely slicing the florets, and then dicing up the stalks). Both require space to cook and are best done in batches – 2 oven trays for the roasted cauliflower and at least 2 lots in a large frying pan for the steam frying. The roasting method is outlined below. For the steam frying method, use a large frying pan, a good splash of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt flakes and toss it around the frying pan until it is slightly golden and very fluffy. Use this version in place of normal cous cous, pasta, rice or mashed potato. You can also add spices or fresh herbs to the steam fried version.
Roasted Cauliflower Cous Cous
1 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn ground cumin
1 tspn ground coriander
1 tspn salt flakes
1/4 cup flaked almonds, toasted
1/4 cup parsley and/or coriander, leaves chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (or dried cranberries)
Preheat oven to 180C. Cut cauliflower into chunks and in batches pulse the cauliflower chunks in a food processor until crumb-like. Mix the spices and salt into the cauliflower and then spray or drizzle in enough oil to lightly coat the cauliflower mix. Line 2 baking trays and place the cauliflower mix onto them. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden and crispy, shaking the trays at least once during the cooking process. Place in a serving dish and add the remaining ingredients. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add a drizzle of good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish it off.