I'll admit I was a skeptic when cauliflower rice came on the scene - it often feels unnecessary to mess with a good thing and I am certainly not "carbaphobic". As much as I love cauliflower (and I do love it so), even I'll admit I can overdo it with cruciferous vegetables occasionally (ever tried kohlrabi ice cream? definite skippable). I am, however, a big fan of deliciousness and vegetables and when these worlds collide my meal is complete, which is exactly what happens when cauliflower is pulverized into small bits, seasoned well, and served as a grain. In this case, I call it couscous because the flavoring is in the "couscous genre", one could easily call it rice, as it's the same process. Apart from being delicious and satisfyingly high fiber and phytonutrients, what's great about making cauliflower into a grain is that you don't even need the whole floret. If you have leftover cauliflower stems from another dish they can easily be tossed into the food processor and turned into rice!
This recipe calls for heating the cauliflower after pulsing in the food processor, but it can also be served raw for a crunchier texture and application, such as chilled cauliflower tabouli salad. Additionally, although the flavor and color of turmeric is hard to ignore, cauliflower rice or couscous is also nice simply seasoned if paired with a dish that is flavorful, such as slow cooked spicy garbanzo beans or an eggplant tagine. When it comes down to it, cauliflower rice/couscous is incredibly versatile similar to...regular rice or couscous! Serves 4.
1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds, stems and/or florets can be used)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup currants (optional)
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Cut and/or pull apart cauliflower into large florets and chop core/stem into smaller pieces. If you have leftover cauliflower core/stems from another application, they can be pulverized and used as well.
Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until broken down into couscous-sized pieces, processing in two batches if needed. As cauliflower is processed, remove any large pieces that are not broken down, set them aside, and pulse separately. If you do not have a food processor, you can grate the cauliflower into couscous-sized pieces using the large holes on a box grater.
Heat olive oil in a skillet with a lid on medium heat*. Stir in cauliflower, cover, and cook for 6-7 minutes, until desired softness is reached, stirring occasionally. Add turmeric, salt, and optional currants then stir to combine. Serve hot garnished with pumpkin seeds and chopped parsley.