Thursday, June 26, 2014

Margie's Cauliflower Couscous

There are transformative evenings, when you spend time at a table in a garden on twinkling day in June, surrounded by white paper lanterns and marvelous people you've never met before, with some lovely food and a hostess who seems to flit elegantly from conversation to kitchen, in her pinny. There was a judge, a woman who ran a film festival, a magician, a shoe designer and someone who could talk eloquently about all of Philip Glass's music. Also a biblophile, a film fanatic and a dog enthusiast. On these evenings you come home changed because life's endless possibilities have been laid out for you. I thank Margie for that wonderful night and I am sharing her amazing cauliflower couscous (originally from Food 52) here. It is slightly modified.

here's the one I made last night

Serves 4-6
  • 1 large cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pound of cauliflower florets)
  • 5 ounces raw cashew nuts (I used almonds)
  • 3 ounces sultanas (gold raisins)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley (I also threw in a handful of chopped mint)
  • 1/2 teaspoon za’atar (I used a little more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed (I didn't include)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (use liberally)
  1. Place the sultanas in a bowl and pour warm water over them. Leave the sultanas for about 15 minutes, until plump. Drain and discard the water.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the cashewnuts and toast them for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden and gently charred. Stir frequently to make sure that cashewnuts do not burn. Let the cashewnuts cool. Cut the half of the cashewnuts into smaller pieces (or simply crush them with your hands).
  3. Break the cauliflower into florets, making sure to leave behind as much of the stem as possible. Chop the florets into smaller pieces. Transfer the cauliflower into food processor in batches, and pulse until the pieces are finely chopped and resemble couscous. Be careful not to over-process.
  4. In a large sauté pan, heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower couscous to the pan and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Remove the couscous from the heat and let it cool. Add the sultanas, cashewnuts, za’atar, cumin, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Leave the couscous for about 15 minutes for the flavors to combine. Serve at room temperature


AnnieLa said...

Margie told me about the evening and sent me this link. What a lovely blog!

And thanks for the recipe! I may try it this weekend.

So you inspired me to update my own blog (it's sadly been years!) which I posted on my FB, but here's the link:

Have a wonderful summer!

Debo said...

Thank you. I'm making this tonight to accompany some grilled pork and cantaloupe slices. Happy Saturday cooking for one.....yes, happy, happy enough, be well Whistle
, Debo. We have less time than we think.