This was a dish inspired by culinary school and a recent trip to the farmer's market. In school, we made a couscous dish to pair with a lamb roast that went superb together. I didn't add lamb today, but made the couscous a hearty vegetarian dish instead. Although, chicken breast or fish would be great over a bed of this couscous.
The winter seasonal vegetables were looking good, and the cauliflowers caught my eye. I decided to buy both purple and white cauliflower, partly because of the beautiful color contrast, and partly because I know there are great nutrition properties in purple foods like blueberries, açai berries, purple potatoes, purple carrots, and grapes.
Cauliflower can get boring, so I decided to try something new for me and grate them into the couscous. I found grated cauliflower to be great raw or steamed! What a great time saver if you have a good grater. There is some playfulness to the dish because the bright purple color, and the white cauliflower camouflages into "couscous" once you grate it fine. (It would be a great way to get kids to eat broccoli and cauliflower without even knowing it!) It's definitely a fun dish to make because it’s quick, easy, and intrigues your senses with color and flavor. I added some dried raisins and apricots and curry to give it the special Moroccan flair. Because of the added spice, it makes for great leftover cold couscous salad. For added nutrition, you can substitute the couscous with whole grain couscous, or quinoa. You can even omit the couscous and make a raw cauliflower salad instead, which I will show below.
Ingredients (About 6 side servings):
- 1 cup couscous (whole wheat if you can find it)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup dried apricots and raisins total, chopped small
- 1/2 cup grated purple cauliflower
- 1/2 cup grated white cauliflower
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped
- drizzle of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds (reseve small amount for garnish)
- 1/4-1/2 cup more grated purple cauliflower to finish with color! (optional)
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Then, add couscous, cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
2. Turn off heat, add the dried fruits and the grated cauliflower on top of the couscous, and cover for an additional 5 minutes.
Dried Fruits ( can also add in dates)
3. Use a fork to break up the couscous and mix ingredients together. Add in all the remaining ingredients, tomatoes, green onions, olive oil, curry powder, salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest, mint and almonds. Stir together and keep covered until served.
4. Top each bowl with additional grated cauliflower and chopped almond if desired.
*To add chicken: Place chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chopped chicken into couscous at the end.