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Cauliflower, when grated into fine grains, makes a surprisingly good and nutritious alternative to couscous, and is both low-carb and gluten-free. Pomegranate and chia seeds boost the nutritional status of this pretty and vibrant salad even further. Serve it as a light meal or as part of a mezze selection.


Serves 4

  • 1 cauliflower, leaves removed

  • 1 small red onion, diced

  • 1 small cucumber, quartered lengthways, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks

  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into large dice

  • 2 large handfuls chopped mint leaves

  • 2 large handfuls chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • seeds from ¼–½ pomegranate, depending on size

  • 1 heaped tsp chia seeds

  • 2 tsp za’atar


  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • finely grated zest of ½ lemon

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing, season and set aside.


Grate the cauliflower florets into fine “grains” using the large holes of a box grater and discard the stalks (these can be used in another dish). Put the cauliflower into a shallow serving bowl and scatter the cucumber, red pepper, mint, parsley, pomegranate and chia seeds over.


Spoon the dressing over the salad and turn until it is coated and everything is combined. Serve sprinkled with za’atar.

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From The Salad Bowl

Ryland, Peters & Small, 2015