Graining cauliflower is a great alternative to rice, quinoa, or couscous. Pairing plums and proscuitto makes for a playful sweet, tart, and salty combination in this salad.
Beyond the Peel
Today was one of those days when I wanted a couscous salad. Without any couscous to be had, I made do. I’d used the idea of ‘ricing’ cauliflower before and I’d seen it used in a risotto (brilliant but have yet to try it!), as rice and as couscous. There seemed to be no time like the present to try it. It helped that the pressure was on, because I had a cauliflower going bad in the fridge. Kinda like the time I made this. It was one of those ‘use it or lose it’ moments.
The other ingredients in this recipe come from a most brilliant surprise. A visit from my sister! You should know, out here any visit at all is really nice, but a visit from a sister is truly special. Like Christmas! She even came bearing gifts! Of course in my house, the best gifts of all tend to be food.
The treats were far too many to list here, but the two that concern this recipe are prosciutto and plums.
A lot of people know about the special relationship that cantaloupe or honeydew have with prosciutto, but few realize that plums and prosciutto have a similar kind of kindred friendship. You don’t have to try the cauliflower couscous to pair these two buddies together. Try it on your next arugula salad and be dazzled by the play of sweet, tart, and salty.
That being said, you don’t know need to have plums and prosciutto to try out the versatility of ricing cauliflower (and you don’t even have to wait for it to start turning brown either). You could toss it with any of your favorite ingredients or use it in place of quinoa. It’s a wonderful grain-free option, light on the calories, and a great way of sneaking in more veggies into a meal.
Cauliflower couscous salad with plums and prosciutto
1 small head of cauliflower
1 garlic clove, minced
2 slices of prosciutto, torn
1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley
Juice of half lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Using a food processor, process the cauliflower into rice sized (or a little smaller) pieces.
2. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cauliflower and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Don’t over cook. To expedite the cooling process, lay the rice cauliflower mixture onto a cookie sheet (I placed mine in the fridge). Once reasonably cooled (room temperature is good enough) drizzle with olive oil, and squeeze the lemon juice all over it. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
3. While the cauliflower is chilling, thinly slice the plum, tear the prosciutto and take the leaves off the parsley. If you don’t like big leaves of parsley it can be chopped.
4. Toss the ingredients together. Serve in two bowls and garnish with a lemon wedge.
Related post on Beyond the Peel: Cauliflower Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Pepper and Tomato Sauce