Raw cauliflower couscous, salted almonds + lemon with squid

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Im not one for fads or trends, but there are a few ideas knocking around that help minimise carb intake/maximise vegetable intake that I really rate. I’ve been eating a fair few dinners based on courgette noodles/courgetti (courgettes cut in to spaghetti shaped strands using a spiralizer) and tried a few meals where grains are replaced by grated cauliflower. I’ve got the courgetti recipe down to a T now (I’ll share a recipe soon, it’s trickier than you think to perfect this). As for the grated raw cauliflower ‘couscous’, I actually really enjoyed it, but even I, an avid cauliflower eater, was slightly overwhelmed by how cauliflowery it was.

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This recipe here combines half raw grated cauliflower with half couscous for a really brilliant, healthy and tasty compromise. The cauliflower adds that vegetable bitterness and the couscous comforts. All of the extra ingredients lift the base so well – it tastes incredibly fresh, and is the perfect accompaniment for some lightly grilled fresh squid. This recipe is inspired by a very similar one in Nigel Slater’s Eat – but of course Nigel plumps for 100% couscous! – and serves two, but you’ll end up with a little extra couscous for your lunch.

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You will need:

6 small cleaned squids, wings and beaks removed and cleaned
Smoked salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil to fry

100g couscous, cooked according to packet instructions and cooled
1/2 small cauliflower, grated
Large bunch chopped flat leaf parsley
75g salted roasted almonds (Marcona if you can get ’em!), some left whole and other roughly chopped
20 stoned green olives, halved
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tspn chilli flakes
2 tbspn olive oil
Salt, pepper

Method:

1 – Start by making the couscous. Combine the grated cauliflower, cooled couscous, parsley, lemon zest, spring onions, chilli, almonds and olives together in a bowl. Season to taste and stir in the olive oil just before you’re ready to serve.
2 – Prepare the squid – separate the body from the tentacles. Cut the white body flesh into two pieces and score gently. Prepare the tentacles by cutting by removing the head.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a griddle pan. Once every hot, add the squid pieces and season with smoked salt. Cook for a minute or so over a high heat then squeeze over the lemon juice. Serve immediately over the couscous.

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3 thoughts on “Raw cauliflower couscous, salted almonds + lemon with squid

  1. Great photos. I’m not into fads and trends either, but I have tried cauliflower “couscous”, and must admit I love it, but what’s even better, everybody else around me who has tried it has loved it to! I don’t mind a 100% cauliflower version, but I think your idea of combining it with couscous (but why not quinoa, bulghur, or even some other grain?) is a really good one; I’ll definitely do that next time.

    1. Thanks! To be honest anything cauliflower is a winner in my book, but definitely preferred the texture of it when combined with lots of other things – not necessarily a grain, but chopped veggies too. I tried it as a replacement to sushi rice and just added mirin, rice vinegar and sesame seeds, so quite pure. Definitely prefer the versions with more going on! Delicious! And yes to your point about all other grains too. I think it would be nice combined with lentils.

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