May – Middle Eastern Herb and Cauliflower Salad

What is that grain in the salad? Is it rice, is it cracked wheat, is it couscous? Nope, none of that. This salad is grain and gluten free. It’s my favorite substitution, cauliflower! And this salad is wonderfully delicious as well as healthy; it’s full of chopped herbs plus cherry tomatoes and toasted almonds with a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. It keeps well so you can make it ahead.

I can find already riced cauliflower in the grocery store, both Trader Joe’s and Safeway carry it. But it is easy to make at home in your food processor if you need to start from scratch (or have cauliflower growing in your garden…lucky you). I don’t recommend using the packaged already riced cauliflower if you are making mock mashed potatoes I think it has a high percentage of stem. It won’t result in a creamy rich amazing mashed potato substitute. You need to have mostly florets for that recipe. But, it is perfect for use in this recipe. The kernels hold their shape and crunch once cooked.

I roasted the cauliflower for extra flavor before mixing it with the other ingredients.

Middle Eastern Herb and Cauliflower Salad

If you are starting with a head of cauliflower, slice the head in half and remove the tough core. Roughly chop the florets. Working in batches, add the cauliflower to your food processorΒ and pulse until the consistency of ‘rice’. Transfer to a large bowl.



  • I head of cauliflower or a package of pre-riced cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of fruity olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup of coarsely chopped flat leaved parsley
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped mint
  • 4 scallions white and light green, chopped
  • 1-2 lemons, juiced to make about 1/4 cup of juice
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 3/4 cup of sliced almonds


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the riced cauliflower in a large bowl and add the olive oil, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Spread the cauliflower on the baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes until tender and browning around the edges. You may need to leave it for a few additional minutes but check it so it doesn’t burn. Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool on the parchment paper.
  4. Spread the almonds on a small baking sheet and toast in the same oven for about 5 minutes, again check constantly as they will turn from nicely toasted to burnt in seconds. Remove and cool.
  5. While the cauliflower is cooking you can make the herb salad. Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a bowl and let the herbs and tomatoes marinate until the cauliflower is cool.
  6. Once cool, add the cauliflower to the bowl with the salad and mix well. The parchment paper works well as you can just lift it off the baking sheet. Taste to see if you need to add any additional lemon juice or salt or pepper.
  7. Chill until ready to serve, garnished with the toasted sliced almonds.

I found this salad kept well and was still good the next day for lunch.

You could turn this into an entire meal by adding some sliced feta or leftover chicken to the salad. It would be an excellent side with lamb chops or kebobs.

Middle Eastern Cauliflower and Herb Salad

I’m taking this to share with fellow bloggers at Fiesta Friday #274, over at Angie’s place (where she is feeling the need for spring cleaning). Please click over to meet other food, garden and craft bloggers. And guess what, I am co-hosting with Antonia @

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

34 thoughts on “May – Middle Eastern Herb and Cauliflower Salad

      • I did and found it very interesting. Do you have any tips on Scotland and London? We plan to visit this coming September.

      • That would be wonderful. In the past I have stayed at Dolphin Square since it is so centrally located, but it has been over a dozen years since I have been there.

  1. Sounds good Liz – I like the idea that you roasted the cauliflower first! I am one of those “cilantro haters” and would have to leave that herb out, but it’s obviously a recipe you can make to your taste πŸ™‚

    • I don’t think you would miss the cilantro. I can think of numerous additions that would be good and plan to do them once summer is here in earnest, chopped cucumber and arugula would be tasty additions, also some spices like sumac.

    • Same for me, I avoid them. But, you won’t miss them in this salad.

  2. Oh it looks beautiful, Liz. And so refreshing. How clever with the cauliflower “grain” substitution. My mouth is watering looking at the pictures. I’ll have to make this soon. See you tomorrow at the fiesta, cohost. I’ll be your wing woman πŸ˜€

      • Happy Friday Angie, I am looking forward to co-hosting with Antonia.

        The salad is just as good as it looks.

      • I am on Instagram although a very infrequent visitor. I hope you enjoy it, I have made it several times and it was well received. No one missed the grain. I look forward to hearing about it.

      • Same here as an infrequent visitor. There was a time when I tried to post my daily meals, but it took too much energy πŸ˜„ I’ll let you know how the salad goes; I already know I will love it, though.

  3. This looks lovely, Liz! I love the flavors and the textures! I look forward to co-hosting with you this week! I sent you an email. πŸ˜€

    • Hello Antonia, thank you. I am looking forward to co-hosting with you.

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  5. This is sooooo my kind of food! And I love the extra flavor from the roasting of the cauliflower, what a gorgeous salad! Thank you for co hosting FF and have a great weekend πŸ™‚

  6. I’m a carb guy and have resisted the cauliflower rice rage, but your tempting me with your salad. I’ll just have to take the plunge, because I love all the other ingredients and cauliflower as well. Thanks for sharing.

    • You could make the same salad with farro or couscous. I try to avoid too many carbs and add more veggies whenever possible. Try this though, the cauliflower is not a predominant flavor.

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