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Cauliflower “Couscous”

For the longest time, I fought cauliflower. I usually prepared it Indian style, heavily spiced and cooked whole, but shied away from the floret stir-fry or other recipes with whole florets. Here, the cauliflower is finely chopped so it resembles couscous and will absorb other flavors. Try this excellent version, but also try replacing the sauce with different combos, like tamarind or pomegranate dressing for a sweet-tart rendition, or add some chipotle for a hot and smoky version. Great with a glass of unoaked Chardonnay.–Eric Gower

LC Game Changer Note

This recipe is a game changer for those reticent to try cauliflower. Seriously. They—or you—won’t even recognize it.

Cauliflower Couscous Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 8

Ingredients

  • For the lemon sauce
  • 10 large (about 1 cup loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons, preferably Meyer
  • 1/2 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • For the cauliflower couscous
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, stalks and stems discarded, florets finely diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade

Directions

  • Make the lemon sauce
  • 1. Combine the basil, lemon zest and juice, oil, and maple syrup in a blender and purée. (You can keep the sauce in a jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 7 to 10 days.)
  • Make the cauliflower couscous
  • 2. Reach for a skillet or wok large that’s enough to hold all the cauliflower, place it over medium-high heat, and melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until the onion softens, about 2 minutes.
  • 3. Add the cauliflower, stir thoroughly, salt and pepper liberally, and cook until the cauliflower softens, about 10 minutes.
  • 4. Add 2 tablespoons lemon sauce and cook until the cauliflower is tender and fragrant, another 10 minutes. Adjust the salt, add the remaining 2 tablespoons sauce, mix thoroughly, and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the basil chiffonade.
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