Feel cool this summer: raw cauliflower tabbouleh recipe

Feel cool this summer - raw cauliflower tabbouleh recipe

Feel cool this summer and make our quick and easy raw cauliflower tabbouleh recipe. Tabbouleh (sometimes called tabouli) originated in the Lebanon and Syria area, in the Middle East. It´s traditionally made using bulgar wheat or couscous as the main ingredient, and combines the flavours of fresh parsley, mint and lemon (or lime) with tomatoes, making a lovely refreshing dish. In this raw version we use cauliflower, instead of bulgar wheat for a light summer cooling salad dish.

Cauliflower makes amazing raw substitute for bulgar or couscous and is becoming increasingly popular as a fantastic raw alternative to rice. It is naturally lower in calories, which means it is a fabulous alternative for people who are looking to limit their calorie intake or to lose weight. Cauliflower “rice” is quicker to prepare, as there is no need to cook anything! You only need a good knife (or grater) to make cauliflower rice, although if you have a food processor or hand blender it is even easier.

In our recipe we use cherry tomatoes, which make a lovely sweet addition. However, if you only have large salad tomatoes in your fridge then use them instead. If you do use large salad tomatoes, I suggest you scoop out the seeds and chop into small pieces, as leaving the seeds in will make the dish a little soggy (and not quite so light and fresh). There is no substitute for the fresh herbs, it’s the fresh mint and parsley that really make this dish hum!

Many traditional tabbouleh recipes include onion, however we decided to leave it out from this dish, as it can sometimes be quite strong, particularly when using cauliflower. If you want to add some onion, feel free. We suggest using a lightly flavoured onion, like salad onions or sweet red onion, so that the onion does not overpower the other more subtle flavours.

Raw cauliflower tabbouleh recipe

Serves: 4
Calories: 512 (128 per serving)


½ head of cauliflower
12 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ a cucumber, scoop out the seeds and dice
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley


1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
Fresh ground pepper to taste


Make the cauliflower rice. Add the cauliflower into your food processor and cut into small pieces – you want the cauliflower pieces to look something similar to large grain rice. If you do not have a food processor, you can use a grater or knife.

Place the cauliflower “rice”, cucumber, tomatoes and the roughly chopped mint and parsley in a bowl and stir gently to combine.

To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a jar (shaking well), or you can mix them together using a hand blender. Make sure the water and oil combine well. (We use part water to keep the dressing lighter and lower in calories).

Pour the dressing over the salad vegetables and stir well, so that all of the veggies are lightly coated. Let it sit and marinate for an hour before serving to allow the flavours to deepen.

This salad is great served room temperature or cold and will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Serving suggestion

Serve on its own, or combine it with our chickpea croquettes, or bean burgers for a wholesome nutritious meal.

Enjoy plant-based food at La Crisalida health and wellbeing retreats

The food served at La Crisalida is based upon a plant-based diet, meaning we use lots of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, pulses and beans, together with plenty of herbs and spices to bring flavour and variety. (Read more on our food page). We change our menus twice a year, to fit with the warmer or cooler weather, and to make the best of the foods in season. If you enjoyed this recipe, you can find more plant-based food recipes on our blog page. Try it for yourself – visit La Crisalida! Read more about the retreats here.

About the author

Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).