Sautéed zucchini and asparagus are piled on top of a cauliflower couscous salad filled with Mediterranean favorites like fresh herbs, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives.
It’s usually around this time of year that my meals become increasingly lighter, fresher and quick to prepare. I have no patience for slow cooked meals or lengthy prep times when it’s hot out. What I want is something that’s light but with enough heft to leave me feeling full and takes a minimal amount of effort, which is where this Mediterranean inspired cauliflower couscous salad comes into play.
When it comes to salads I prefer mine heavy on the vegetables and light on the actual salad greens, if any at all, so cauliflower couscous has become a staple at my house. It’s so simple to make or buy and makes a wonderful base for all kinds of salads. Sometimes I’ll go to the trouble of roasting it but for the most part I use it raw so it retains all of its satisfying crunch.
How to make a cauliflower couscous salad:
- You can make cauliflower couscous yourself fairly quickly in the food processor but to be honest I don’t even bother most of the time these days since finding it pre-riced at the store has become so easy, which is all well and good because that means even less time stands between me and my meal.
- After you’ve got your grated cauliflower it’s simply a matter of tossing it together with a few olives, some sun-dried tomatoes and a good fistful of fresh herbs like chives, parsley and scallions to create the base of the salad. A simple lemon and olive oil vinaigrette is all that’s needed to round out the flavors.
- Next up is a sauté of sliced zucchini and asparagus. It’s a quick endeavor requiring only one large skillet and less than 5 minutes. Into the skillet goes the olive oil, garlic, asparagus and zucchini along with a good pinch of salt and pepper which gets tossed around until just tender and caramelized. (A word of caution, choose zucchini that’s on the smaller, thinner side to avoid large spongy seeds in the center which will make your sauté soggy.)
What you end up with is a hearty vegetable-filled meal loaded with crunch and color that’s light but still filling and a great accompaniment to almost anything you might be serving.
More cauliflower rice recipes:
Sautéed zucchini and asparagus are piled on top of cauliflower couscous filled with Mediterranean favorites like fresh herbs, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives.
For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 Tablespoons/30ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ Tablespoons/ 22ml fresh lemon juice
- The zest of half a lemon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛th teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
For the Sautéed Zucchini and Asparagus:
- 1 Tablespoon/15ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
- ½ a bunch asparagus, ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Cauliflower Couscous Salad:
- 10oz/ 283g cauliflower, pre-riced or florets
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons, chives finely chopped
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup/45g Kalamata olives, thinly sliced
Make the Vinaigrette:
- Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in a large serving bowl and set aside.
Make the Sautéed Zucchini and Asparagus:
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant but not browned (about 30 seconds). Remove garlic with tongs and discard.
- Add the zucchini and asparagus to pan and toss until coated with oil. Season with salt, toss again and let cook undisturbed about 2 minutes. Toss again and cook until zucchini and asparagus are just tender (about 2 minutes more). Remove the pan from heat and let cool.
Make the Couscous Salad:
- Briefly pulse cauliflower in a food processor until couscous-like in texture. Transfer to large serving bowl and toss with parsley, scallions, chives, sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Top with sautéed zucchini and asparagus and serve at room temperature.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 494mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.