Cherie’s Lebanese-flavoured Cauliflower Salad



I only joined Instagram relatively recently, and I think it’s one of the kindest of the social media. The people I follow seem to be exceptionally  pleasant to each other, which I like a lot. Not too much nasty trolling going on, on the pages that I follow anyway, and that’s how I like it. I mostly tend to follow Foodies, Photographers, and Irish people and Places. I don’t remember how I came to follow @flavourpassioncherie but I really enjoy her posts and photographs. She further endeared herself to me by mentioning that her parents have a cat who look exactly like our Fluff !



She recently posted this cauliflower and chickpea salad on a day when I had a beautiful organic cauliflower waiting for something magical to happen to it. The result will be a surprise to no one, except perhaps to Mr Saturday Night, who might possibly have had some expectations of cauliflower cheese coming his way. It’s May, Mr SN! No more Cauliflower cheese until September, earliest!

Have a go.. :)


  • A food processor of some kind
  • baking tray
  • large serving bowl or platter
  • pestle and mortar (or a grinder)


For the Lebanese flavours:

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 2tsp Maldon sea salt
  • ½ bunch of coriander                                                       
  • ½ bunch of mint
  • ½ bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 clove of garlic, skin on
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 110ml/4fl oz olive oil

For the cauliflower rice and chickpeas:

  • I cauliflower, cut into 2 pieces
  • 1 tin of Chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

To decorate:

  • Flat leaved parsley
  • A red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces of pine nuts.


  • Start off by toasting the fennel and cumin seeds in a frying pan until crisp and aromatic.


  • Grind them almost to a powder with the Maldon salt. Put to one side.
  • Toast the pine nuts  gently, then leave to one side.
  • cut the Cauliflower into 2 equal pieces.


  • Cut one half into small florets, add two cloves of unpeeled garlic and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Pour onto a roasting tin and give them 10 minutes at 200c.


  • Roughly cut up the 2nd half of the cauliflower, put it into the food processor and process until it looks like cauliflower rice. Pour into a bowl.


  • Put the fresh herbs into the blender and process until well broken down.
  • Add the cumin and fennel mix, the orange jest, the meat from the roasted garlic, the paprika, and the red wine vinegar, and blend again.


  • Add the oil gradually to make a pesto-like dressing. Test for seasoning (I felt it needed some more salt and pepper).
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and add them to the cauliflower rice, add the roasted florets.


  • Mix in the dressing and empty onto your serving platter.


  • Decorate with the flat leaved parsley, red chilli and toasted pine nuts


  • The original recipe calls for two tins of chickpeas, but I was making this salad just for the two of us, and I’m not a great fan of chickpeas anyway, so I used just one.
  • You can make this well in advance, and  re-mix it all together  just before serving.
  • Apologies – I forgot the pine-nuts in these pictures!
  • I think it’s best served at room temperature.
  • This salad would be a great addition to a buffet table, where one smallish cauliflower would feed about 10 people. As the main salad with a lunch, I’d say it would feed about 6 people.



I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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