Cauliflower couscous

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a side dish
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables: The new food heroes


By Peter Gordon

Published 2007

  • About

In Spain in 2003, I ate at one of the world’s most famous restaurants – Ferran Adria’s El Bulli. The food was quite bizarre, all 32 courses of it. However, I had heard that he once served cauliflower couscous, which I found an intriguing concept, so I had to play around with it. No doubt, his method involves pipettes and alginates, but this is how we make it at The Providores. It’s delicious served with grilled pork chops, garlic roast pumpkin or sweet potatoes, or pan-fried mackerel.


  • 180 g instant couscous
  • 250 ml tepid water
  • 300 g cauliflower (just use the florets and the smaller stems, not the thick main core)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


In a medium-sized bowl, mix the couscous with the tepid water and 1 teaspoon of salt, and leave it to absorb the water.

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to the boil and add the cauliflower, making sure it is completely submerged, then boil for 4–5 minutes until it’s almost cooked – don’t overcook it. (Or, you can steam it.) Drain in a colander and put into a bowl of iced water for 2 minutes.

Drain it again, then place in a food processor and blitz in several short bursts, scraping down the side of the bowl each time, to produce coarse crumbs, as it were.

Mix these ‘crumbs’ into the couscous together with the olive oil and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. It will keep, covered, in the fridge for a day; just mix it together well before serving to loosen it up.