This sweeter side salad was a bit of an accident. I was looking for a recipe in one of my old cookbooks for Moroccan Couscous with the idea of creating a Paleo adaptation. It has been many years since I last made this dish, so I didn’t notice right away that I was working from the wrong recipe. Instead, I was adapting a recipe for a nutty couscous salad, which did use many of the same ingredients. I discovered my error half way through and decided to combine the flavors from both recipes into this dish. My husband and kids devoured it. This flavorful salad is delicious warm or cold (we all preferred it cold) and is absolutely perfect beside lamb (but would be great beside beef or chicken too). This would also be a great choice to bring to a potluck. For our meals, I paired this salad with a bitter green (like kale or collards) to balance out the sweetness. Yields 5-6 servings.
This recipe uses candied ginger. I make my own honey-candied ginger, which is really easy. You could also buy the candied ginger from Trader Joe’s (which has no sugar crystal coating) or simply wipe the sugar coating off of your favorite organic candied/crystallized ginger. Another option would be to substitute with 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger.
Moroccan-Inspired Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad
Yield 3-4 servings
- 1 small head of cauliflower (4-5 cups after being processed)
- 1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped (about 4 dates)
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
- ¾ cups whole cashews
- 1 bunch parsley (1 cup chopped)
- 1 large orange (about 2 Tbsp zest and ½ cup juice)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin
- Pulse cauliflower florets and stems in a food processor until it resembles small rice grains or large couscous grains (depending on your food processor, you might want to do this in batches). Note that this does not work very well with frozen cauliflower.
- Chop dates, parsley, and candied ginger and set aside. Zest the orange peel with a small zester or box grater and juice the orange.
- Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower with salt, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is cooked al dente, about 6-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour cauliflower into a large bowl.
- Stir in raisins, dates, ginger, cashews, orange zest and parsley until combined. Pour orange juice and vinegar over the top and stir to coat.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving (this is one of those salads that tastes even better the next day).