Adventures with Cauliflower Couscous

Sunday, 9 June 2013

One of the things I miss in my gluten free life is couscous.  It’s so convenient and easy to use.  For a while I tried substituting quinoa and millet but while they are fine grains in their own right, they don’t have the same texture as couscous.  Enter the humble cauliflower.  Never one of my favourite vegetables I often dismissed cauliflower as bland and tasteless.  No surprise because I’d only every really eaten it boiled or steamed.  Thanks to the wonderful world of food blogs I’ve had my eyes opened to the possibilities that cauliflower can offer.  I’ve tried roasting it with spices which is delicious and lately I’ve been using it as a substitute for couscous.  A grain free dream.  All you need is a food processor!  Blitzed in a food processor cauliflower becomes fine and grain like.  I find a few minutes in the skillet and it’s cooked.  No need for boiling water, just heat through.  Simple as that.

I’ve made a few dishes using cauliflower couscous.  Today for lunch I had it with wilted spinach, lemon zest, roasted tomatoes and a boiled egg (pictured above).  But the recipe I’m going to share today was something of an experiment.  Last week on a whim I bought a pineapple, like you do.  It sat on the counter staring at me for a few days until I was compelled to find a good way to use it.  This recipe was inspired by BBC Good Food Pineapple Rice.  The pineapple can be a little over powering here as it is very sweet.  The original recipe calls for soy sauce which I can’t eat because it contains wheat but tamari would probably work well.  I just didn’t have any.  I served this with steak and the combination worked really well.  Pineapple is often served with pork so the sweet and savoury combination of the two is a definite winner.  I also threw in some toasted cashew nuts which were a great addition.  This recipe is open to major experimentation.  I just went with what I had on hand.

Pineapple Cauliflower Couscous inspired by BBC Good Food.
Serves 2
Roughly ¼ head of cauliflower will serve 2 but you will have to estimate this depending on the size of your cauliflower.  Chop the cauliflower in to florets then blitz it in the food processor until fine.
¼ pineapple cut in to chunks.
1 shallot finely diced.
1 teaspoon sized piece of fresh root ginger finely chopped.
½ teaspoon of curry powder.
Handful of kale of spinach.
Sliced spring onions.
Handful of toasted cashews.

Sauté the shallot and ginger in a skillet or non stick frying pan for about five minutes.  Add the curry powder and pineapple and mix well.  Next add the cauliflower couscous, kale and spring onion.  Cook for five minutes more.  Serve with unsalted toasted cashews sprinkled over.  


  1. Ah the forever versatile cauliflower! A beautiful dish. I really love the flavour combinations here—curry, pineapple, cashews. Perfect.

    1. Thanks Irina! I've been a bit slow to get on the cauliflower game. It is so versatile though. So many directions to take it.