Is anybody else having trouble wrapping their mind around the idea that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away?! 2 weeks!! December always seems to fly by, but I feel like I was just celebrating my birthday, which was December 1st. How is it already mid-December?
I’m not sure how we managed it, but Philip and I were able to find a free weekend in December to make a trip to Illinois this past weekend to see his parents and grandparents and for me to connect with a friend in the area. We celebrated the start of a new season for him at his job, relaxed in front of the fireplace while the snow fell outside, and played a family favorite game—Rummikub. It was certainly a special weekend and it’s making me even more excited to see more family later this month!
Today I’m excited to bring you a new recipe that is a holiday/winter twist on a traditional Mid-eastern vegetarian dish. Tabbouleh is traditionally a salad composed of the grain bulgur, parsley, tomatoes, green onions, mint, olive oil, and lemon juice. I love bulgur (whole grain for the win!), but this recipe is even easier to whip together because it involves no cooking of the grain. Instead, cauliflower takes its place and my favorite winter vegetable, sweet potato, is added in to give it a little heartiness and sweetness.
This Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Tabbouleh was perfect for a fast week night meal. Philip and I both took our first bite and looked at each other with a surprised look of delight due to the amount of great flavor and brightness we were tasting. While the tabbouleh has the sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pepitas that give this salad the gorgeous color, texture, and flavor we’re accustomed to around the holidays, it also has the bright flavor of the lemon and mint that keeps this dish from feeling heavy or blah.
I’m not sure which was more of a highlight of the meal, though—the tabbouleh or the salmon we had to go with our tabbouleh. This salmon was gifted to us from the Kwee-Jack Fish Co-Op and it is some of the best fish I’ve tasted. The salmon is sustainably caught, is sushi-grade, and packaged in vacuum-sealed bags containing the boneless whole filets.
Just a little salt and pepper was all we needed to bring out the amazing flavor the fish. If you’re trying to eat more fish like Philip and I are (it was my goal of 2016 and I think it will continue to be my goal for 2017) and live in the Madison area, this is definitely a co-op I’d recommend you checking out! The salmon flavor is top-notch and, not to mention, the health benefits of wild caught salmon can’t be beat.
Whenever you enjoy this twist on tabbouleh, it’s one that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Oh, and don’t forget the salmon! :)
Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Tabbouleh
- 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 2 large), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 3 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 small cauliflower (1¾ pounds untrimmed)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Juice of 1 lemon (3 to 4 Tablespoons)
- 1 cup roughly chopped parsley
- 4 green onions, white and light green parts, very thinly sliced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup roughly chopped mint
- ¼ cup roasted, salted pepitas
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the diced sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the 2 teaspoons olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. When done, remove the pan from the oven and let the potatoes cool.
- To a small bowl, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the zest, and the lemon juice and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- While the sweet potatoes are roasting, trim the cauliflower and cut in quarters. With a food processor fitted with the grating attachment, grate the cauliflower so it looks similar to rice. Alternatively, grate the cauliflower on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer to a large bowl. Gently stir in the parsley, green onions, cranberries, mint, pepitas and sweet potatoes. Re-whisk the dressing and drizzle over the tabbouleh. Stir to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. If preparing for later or having leftovers, more olive oil may need to be added to moisten the cauliflower mixture.
Adapted from: North Carolina Sweet Potatoes