Gluten-Free Paleo Tabbouleh

Ok, I LOVE tabbouleh. LOVE IT. Well, can’t have it due to my being allergic to wheat. Awesome. THEN, I found  Melissa and her awesome take on this.

If you’ve not checked out her site or her cookbook before, DO IT. She’s amazing and another great resource. I got my Scotch Egg recipe from her – awesome.

Anyway, HUGE shout out to Mel!

Back to the tabbouleh! Check out the recipe below. I followed this step by step, but had a few changes along the way as I didn’t have all on hand and I like my tabbouleh a certain way. 🙂 I.E. no mint. Don’t do mint. 🙂 Anyhoo…ENJOY!!! LOVE IT!

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The salad:
1 head raw cauliflower
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2 seedless cucumbers [I used ones with seeds, peeled and diced]
4 ripe tomatoes
4 cups curly parsley leaves (about 2 bunches) [LOVE parsley]
1 cup fresh mint leaves [skipped]
6 scallions [only had three]

The dressing:
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon Lebanese seven-spice blend (optional – recipe here) [skipped, ran out of time]
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil [used about a quarter cup]

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cover a two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a food processor to “rice” the cauliflower: Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in the food processor bowl and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice. This takes about 10 to 15 one-second pulses. You may need to do this in two batches to avoid overcrowding. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower rice with the melted coconut oil, then divide the cauliflower between the baking sheets. Spread it into a single layer so it can toast in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes or so, checking at 15 to make sure it’s getting golden but not burning. (Mine got pretty dark, and it retained a nice bite, even after being tossed with the dressing.) [this step is a must.]

2. Cut the cucumber and tomatoes into 1/4-inch dice, place in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt, and let the vegetables “sweat” out their excess moisture while the cauliflower is in the oven.

3. Wash the parsley then either pat dry (with paper towels or a clean dish towel) or spin in a salad spinner. Repeat with the mint. When the herbs are clean and dry, use a sharp knife — not the food processor — to finely chop them. I think it’s nice when you can recognize the leaf for what it is in tabbouleh, so I don’t mince the herbs as fine for this salad as I do for Turkish Chopped Salad. Place the herbs in a large mixing bowl.

4. Trim the scallions and slice them very, very thin so they’re almost shaved. Add to the parsley.

5. When the cauliflower is toasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool. While it’s cooling, drain the cucumbers and tomatoes of the released liquid, then add the vegetables to the parsley. Toss with a rubber scraper to combine.

6. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the lemon juice, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and Lebanese seven-spice blend. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you continue to mix with the fork. Then pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss gently, but with purpose, until all the ingredients are coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour so the flavors can blend.

NOTE: As I admitted above, I ate this aggressively as soon as it was done — but on day two, it tasted even better. Day three, it was still good. After that, it begins to look a little sad, so if you can’t eat a full batch in 2-3 days, cut the recipe in half. [I actually added some hearty greens to this on day three and ate for lunch. THIS WAS SO GOOD. Seriously – ENJOY!!!]


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I'm a personal trainer, coach, CrossFitter, food lover, terrible singer, step-monster, wife, amateur chef, and coffee & tequila addicted. And we've just scratched the surface.

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