Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice with Smoky Red Pepper Sauce

July  6, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This dish, with its smoky flavors and spices, epitomizes how complex and delicious cauliflower "rice"—and raw food—can be. Rice leftovers will keep, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for 2 days. If stored separately, the red pepper sauce will keep for up to 5 days. Be sure to squeeze the rice to remove excess moisture as you go; otherwise, the leftovers won't keep as well. —Gena Hamshaw

What You'll Need
  • For the cauliflower rice:
  • 1 1/2 pounds (4 cups) cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pitted date
  1. Place half of the cauliflower, pine nuts, sea salt, pepper, and cumin in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S” blade. Pulse until the cauliflower is broken into small pieces. Add the remaining cauliflower and the dill and pulse until all of the cauliflower is the size of medium-grain rice.
  2. Remove the cauliflower from the food processor, and mix in the currants.
  3. Blend the pepper, tahini, water, salt, paprika, vinegar, and date in a blender until smooth. Divide the rice into four portions and spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sauce over the rice. Garnish with dill, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • sarahdecker
  • garlic&lemon
  • Mikhayla
  • Lizzy Sanders
    Lizzy Sanders

7 Reviews

Lexi W. July 17, 2017
I was so excited to make this, and cooked it exactly as written. I don't like criticizing recipes, but this one was just a dud. Both my husband I thought the smoked paprika, tahini, raw cauliflower and dill were clashing together, and I like all these ingredients. I'm disappointed that this is the first community pick of many that I have made that I didn't like. For an excellent cauliflower rice recipe, I'd recommend the Spice Merchant Cauliflower CousCous, which is also on this site.
Marie F. July 15, 2017
Yes, the cauliflower is raw.
sarahdecker July 14, 2017
Just wondering if smoked Spanish paprika is the correct kind...?
garlic&lemon July 14, 2017
Please clarify: the cauliflower is raw?
tina November 14, 2014
concerning the sauce for this recipe, i was surprised to see water mentioned in the ingredients (1/2 cup!!!). wouldn't it be tastier to use less tahini (therefore requiring less water for thinning) and possibly a bit of olive oil?
the same ratio of tahini to water was mentioned in the recipe for tahini dressing and i had the same thought as i read that recipe also. surely 1/2 cup of water in a recipe which will produce no more than 1-2 cups sauce or dressing is going to give a very watery taste or at least a very watered down taste, no?
Lizzy S. April 24, 2015
Hey tina,
Tahini has a pretty distinct taste. I just made it and even with the bell pepper and all of the other flavors I can still taste the tahini. It all balanced well and tasted great! :)
Mikhayla October 7, 2014
I left out the dill, but thought this was delicious! Making the cauliflower "rice" a new staple! Thanks for the recipe!!