Addictive Aromatic Cauliflower Pilaf Recipe

This recipe from Mariela Alvarez Toro comes with a warning tag attached to it.
By Mariela Alvarez Toro

I am about to blow your mind. But I warn you; you might become addicted to this delicious recipe, once you realize how healthy (and low in calories!) it is. This dish will remind you of rice dishes, maybe quinoa dishes, or even risotto. But it is none of the above.

To be honest, I am not really sure how it occurred to me to make this. But I am glad I did. When I thought about it, it felt like one of those old ideas that has been brewing in your mind for ages, but does not emerged to the surface until the moment is right. I made it for a small group of friends, on a Sunday summer evening, and since, have been making it regularly. Recipes like this make me love vegetables even more, appreciate their versatility and ability to transform.

Its simple preparation is non-equivalent to its complexity in flavor and texture. It is smooth, crunchy, earthy, and aromatic, yet, light and fluffy. The cauliflower is chopped in a food processor until it resembles crumbs. It is quickly toasted with curry powder and cumin. The cauliflower is then cooked with a pinch of salt and a little bit of vegetable broth. From here on you are free to do as you wish. Add whatever you feel like, from corn, to peas, to tomatoes. And as the seasons change, you can add butternut squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes. Anything, really! The dressing is quintessential. This delicate miso-mustard dressing adds depth in flavor, and a creamy texture to the whole dish.

I am keeping it springy, by adding radishes and peas, and a handful of cilantro for freshness.

Re-welcome cauliflower to your life as a not so salad-y vegetable that can fool anybody. It fooled all of our friends

5.0 from 1 reviews
Aromatic Cauliflower Pilaf
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
An earthy, nutty, decadent pilaf, without the guilt.
Recipe Type: Main, Entree, Side
Serves: 4
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek (2 wild onions) thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ head large cauliflower (grated in a food processor)
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (12dl) vegetable broth
  • 5 radishes thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (75g) sweet peas
  • handful cilantro
  • handful roasted almonds
  • 1 tsp miso
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  1. In a food processor, chop cauliflower florets into even smal pieces. It should resemble "rice".
  2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil.
  3. Add leeks (or onions) and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cumin and curry, then toast for a minute.
  5. Add cauliflower. Toast for another minute.
  6. Add vegetable broth and cover. Lower heat to low and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  7. While cauliflower is cooking, make vinaigrette by combining remaining olive oil, miso, grainy mustard, rice vinegar and maple syrup in a large bowl.
  8. Add sliced radishes and peas to bowl.
  9. Once cauliflower is cooked, transfer to bowl with vinaigrette, peas and radishes.
  10. Add cilantro and almonds. Mix until well incorporated.
  11. Serve either hot, or room temperature.
If eating as main entree, this recipe serves 2.
    1. Hey Frances. Can you eat chickpeas? I love to roast them with a little bit of salt, pepper, olive oil for about 30-35minutes in a 400 degree ove, until they turn golden. They are packed full of protein, and have less fat that nuts. I think it is a good substitute. Enjoy!2

  1. May I add, for Frances, toasted pumpkin seeds? I use them a lot and they taste nutty, have crunch, and have a nice-looking color.

  2. I have made this twice and love it. Lots of variations possible but I like it with cashews and a few currants. Thanks for developing and posting.

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