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Cauliflower Couscous Recipe

Learn a delicious and unusual way to prepare cauliflower with this recipe that uses small pieces of cauliflower resembling couscous.

From "The Earth-Bound Cook"
September 2018

  • Cauliflower
    The cauliflower is chopped into small pieces and slow-stirred with additions of hot stock, a technique that ensures a creamy texture but still maintains a bit of chew.
    Photo by Maria Brzostowska
  • book cover
    “The Earth-Bound Cook” by Myra Goodman is a detailed reference guide to healthy organic produce and ingredients, along with easy-to-follow tips for cooking delicious recipes that make your kitchen more eco-friendly.
    Cover courtesy Workman Publishing
  • Cauliflower
  • book cover

Yield: 4-6 servings

The Earth-Bound Cook (Workman Publishing, 2010) by Myra Goodman is a guide for readers to learn how to easily cook in sync with the environment with sustainably produced ingredients. Readers will feel empowered about environmental issues instead of overwhelmed by them after reading this book. Throughout the book there are informative spotlights and sidebars along with tips meant to help educate cooks on their choices in food, appliance use, prep habits, and cleanup can affect the environment.

This is a delicious, healthy, and unusual way to prepare cauliflower. The cooking technique borrows from risotto, but the dish resembles couscous in appearance. The cauliflower is chopped into small pieces and slow-stirred with additions of hot stock, a technique that ensures a creamy texture but still maintains a bit of chew. Just about any diced vegetable or fresh herb can be added to the recipe, so use your imagination and clean out your refrigerator! The cauliflower 'couscous' can be served either as a vegetable or as a low-carb substitute for rice or potatoes.


  • 1 head of cauliflower (1-1/4 pounds), cut into 3/4-inch florets (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely sliced leeks (white and light green parts), rinsed well
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups Chicken Wing Stock, Vegetable Stock, or store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, heated
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place half of the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until they are chopped into small "grains." (Do not over process, or the vegetable will turn to mush. You want the cauliflower "grains" to resemble rice. Alternatively, you can finely chop the cauliflower by hand.)
  2. Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl and repeat with the remaining florets.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  5. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, bring a small pan of water, covered, to a boil over high heat.
  8. Add the diced carrot and cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Drain, and set the carrot aside.
  10. Add the remaining 1 cup stock, the zucchini, and the blanched carrots to the cauliflower, cover the skillet, and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  11. Remove the cover and cook until almost all of the stock has been absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.
  12. Stir in the Parmesan and parsley.
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

More from The Earth-Bound Cook:

From The Earth-Bound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and A Healthy Planet, by Myra Goodman. Published by Workman Publishing, © 2010. Used with permission from Workman Publishing.

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