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A month or two ago, Mr M attended a Cath Claringbold cooking class at the Essential Ingredient. My urgings to write a guest post on the experience have fallen on somewhat deaf ears. Nonetheless, an excellent outcome of the class is this recipe for quinoa tabouleh, which is quickly becoming a favourite around our house. I think it has been made 3 times in about a month.

The class Mr M attended was titled ‘ingrained in the Mediterranean’ and explored a range of alternative grains (freekah, bulgur, quinoa etc). Since regular tabouleh ordinarily has bulgur (wheat) in it, I have eaten very little of it in the past 5 years (the notable exception being when Saskia made it for me with buckwheat). I love this twist on tabouleh, the roasted cauliflower reminds me of the fabulous cauliflower salad I often make and I love the freshness from the generous use of herbs. Another aspect that gives a real burst of flavour is the pomegranate.  Unfortunately, pomegranate is no longer in season in Australia although you can buy fresh pomegranate from California at present. Personally, the whole ‘food miles’ thing bothers me somewhat, so I just omitted the pomegranate. I added a little squeeze of lemon to the tabouleh to add a slight acidity, in place of the pomegranate.

This is a really delicious, simple and filling salad. While it is best freshly made, it also held up pretty well as lunch the following day. I can’t wait to make it again! 


Quinoa tabouleh with roast cauliflower and herbs

Adapted from a recipe by Cath Claringbold

Note: I reduced the quantity of raisins as I found it a little sweet. As discussed above, if you don’t have pomegranate handy, a squeeze of lemon helps to add a burst of freshness (although of course, it lacks the texture and the wow factor of the pomegranate!)


160g white quinoa
500ml chicken stock
1 head of cauliflower
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup raisins, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped
1 bunch of coriander, shredded
1/2 bunch parsley, shredded
Seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
Salt and pepper to taste


 1 tbs pomegranate molasses
2 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  • Finely slice the cauliflower into pieces, season with salt and pepper and toss in the olive oil. Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on a baking tray.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes (it usually takes me a bit longer) until the cauliflower is evenly browned. Shake the cauliflower from time to time so that it browns evenly. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Meanwhile, wash and then cook the quinoa. You can cook it in a small saucepan with the stock or alternatively, put the stock and quinoa in a rice cooker. You want the quinoa to be tender and the liquid to have evaporated. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooled cauliflower and quinoa. Mix in the balance of the tabouleh ingredients (almonds, raisins, chives, coriander, parsley and pomegranate).
  • When you are ready to serve, toss the tabouleh in the dressing. Enjoy!


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8 Responses to “Quinoa tabouleh with cauliflower and herbs”

  1. Perfect timing! I’ve been looking for some Quinoa recipes. This will be something else I can look into in using up the rest of my quinoa =D It looks real yummy!

    • Emily says:

      Excellent! Yes its really delicious, I love the roasted cauli and all the herbs. I served it to friends and it was an absolute winner!

  2. Hannah says:

    I am *so* in. Almonds, quinoa, herbs, and pomegranate? Sounds absolutely fresh, zingy, nutty and wonderful!

  3. Oooh great recipe, thanks for sharing! I love quinoa and am always on the lookout for good recipes.

    Jetsetting Joyce

  4. Nice recipe! I love quinoa and always on the lookout for new recipes to try

  5. i love the idea of the baked cauliflower, it would give offf such a nice taste

    • Emily says:

      Hannah: yes the salad is a lovely play on both texture and taste. Plus, its just really good.

      Joyce: quinoa is a real favourite of mine, its a great GF alternative to couscous and is supposedly incredibly good for you too. I like the flavour and texture and that it can be used in many different dishes. At the cooking course Cath also made a sweet quinoa dessert which I will blog about one day!

      Jeroxie: as above, I love quinoa, its so versatile and works so well.

      My restaurants Melbourne: baked cauli is the best, check out my other cauli salad as well http://itpleasesus.com/2010/02/18/mezze-roast-cauliflower-salad/

  6. […] was inspired to incorporate cauliflower into a roast vegetable-type salad by it pleases us‘ Quinoa tabouleh with cauliflower and herbs. I love the way this recipe uses cauliflower as a salad ingredient, as I’m so used to it as a […]

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