Cauliflower Tabbouleh with Green Olives (Grain-Free, Vegan, Raw, Paleo)

This week’s lunchtime obsession hails originally from the Middle East; it’s not fancy or flashy but it comes together in no time at all, and conveniently keeps its crunch for days in the fridge.

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You may already be familiar with this simple salad as one that ordinarily showcases fresh tomatoes alongside bulgur wheat, parsley and mint.

I’ve taken a few liberties with the classic here and swapped out bulgur wheat for finely chopped cauliflower for an entirely raw, grain-free and vegetable filled version, and ousted the not quite yet in season tomatoes for some thinly sliced celery and tangy green olives instead. The parsley and mint, however, remain the stars of the show and a scattering of walnuts across the top adds a little extra welcome crunch.

cauliflower salad ingredients, cauliflower, parsley, mezzaluna, walnuts

The fresh herbs used in tabbouleh (also known as tabouli) are definitely no accent; they give the salad its signature taste and bring a refreshing grassy brightness to the dish. With just a little bit of prep you end up with a white and green flecked salad bursting with flavor and crunch.

It starts with a head of cauliflower minced up as fine as you can to which you add your herbs.  Chopping the leaves by hand with a sharp knife or mezzaluna may take a little more work than using the food processor but the extra effort ensures the light texture you want for this salad.

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Bright green olives bring a wonderful briny hit to the mix while thinly sliced celery adds even more refreshing crunch. Add to that a squeeze of lemon and the richness of extra-virgin olive oil and you have yourself a little flavor fest that’s quickly become my favorite lunchtime standby.

What’s more, it remains wonderfully crunchy even after a few days in the fridge which means you can make yourself a big batch to last the week.

What’s your latest lunchtime obsession?


Serves serves 4 to 6

Cauliflower Tabbouleh with Green Olives (Grain-Free, Vegan, Paleo)

A crunchy cauliflower, green olive and parsley salad that comes together in no time at all and conveniently keeps its crunch for days in the fridge.

15 minPrep Time

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  • 3 Tablespoons/45ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons/45ml extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 medium stalks of celery, finely sliced by hand or on a mandoline
  • 1-2 green spring onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup green olives , coarsely chopped
  • 1 large bunch or two small bunches of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped with a sharp knife or mezzaluna
  • 1 large bunch fresh mint leaves, finely chopped finely chopped with a sharp knife or mezzaluna
  • ¼ cup/30g walnuts , coarsely chopped (optional) (toast if not following a raw diet for extra nutty flavor)


  1. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. (Don't over-process, you want a fluffy texture with grain-sized pieces)
  3. Add the chopped cauliflower, celery, green onions and olives to the dressing and toss to combine.
  4. Add in the finely chopped herbs and toss again.
  5. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve with chopped walnuts , over the top.


Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw, Paleo

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  1. says

    What a fabulous take on tabbouleh salad! I love your substitution of cauliflower, and the addition of some briny olives sounds divine. Parsley and mint certainly brighten it up beautifully. Can’t wait to make this one!

  2. says

    Love, love, love this grain-free tabbouleh! I’ve been craving salads (but, must watch those Vitamin K-rich leafy greens while fighting this dreaded blood clot) and this is the perfect fix! Cauliflower always seems to be the answer in so many applications. Beautiful snaps as always. Thank you for sharing, Sylvie!

  3. says

    We are planning a Mediterranean-themed lunch for May (yes, May), and I was just thinking of ways to make the tabbouleh stand out a bit more. I think you landed on the perfect answer.

  4. says

    This is probably one of the most attractive cauliflower ‘dishes’ I’ve ever come across! I love tabbouleh, miam miam miam! The colors look amazing, and this is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day meal!

  5. says

    I love how green the tabbouleh is – so nourishing and fresh-looking! Every once in a while I put myself on a day or two of raw food (usually during summer produce season 🙂 and it’s always rejuvenating.