Cauliflower Couscous

This is a great vegetarian dish that's moreish, full of nutrients and can be prepared in minutes. Feel free to add different dried fruits, spices, herbs or nuts: whatever you have in your cupboards will be just fine… figs, basil, apricots or coriander would all be most welcome here. Serve alongside barbecued meat and fish, especially if it has Middle Eastern flavours.


4 as a side

Total Time

20 Minutes


1 jasmine teabag
30g of sultanas
250g of cauliflower, chopped
5 tbsp of mixed nuts and seeds:
pine nuts, pistachios or poppy seeds
1 tbsp of chopped dill
1 tbsp of chopped lovage or parsley leaves
1 tbsp of chopped mint leaves
30g of olive oil
finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
seeds of 1 pomegranate
40g of red grapes, halved
½ garlic clove, minced
fine sea salt
Sesame labne


Step 1

Make a cup of tea with the jasmine teabag and add the sultanas. Leave to soak for a couple of hours ideally, though at least while you prepare the other ingredients.

Step 2

Blend the cauliflower in a food processor until the texture resembles couscous. Transfer to a mixing bowl and season lightly with salt.

Step 3

Toast the nuts and seeds in a hot dry pan – or in an oven preheated to 180°C – until golden, season lightly with salt, then add to the cauliflower along with the herbs, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, pomegranate, grapes, garlic and drained sultanas.

Step 4

Keep at room temperature until serving, as that’s a far more enjoyable to eat this than when it’s straight out of the refrigerator.

Step 5

Serve the couscous in a bowl with the labne on the side, topped with a generous scattering of dukkah.

Recipe courtesy of Essential by Ollie Dabbous (Bloomsbury Publishing, £30) which is published on 16th September. Photography by Joakim Blockstrom.

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