Cauliflower “Couscous” With Spiced Butter

November 1, 2017

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Cauliflower “Couscous” With Spiced Butter

Image courtesy of The Splendid Table.

The cauliflower at the Market these days appears in several colors, not just white but also purple and green and gold – all gorgeous. The heads I’ve bought from La Otra Banda and Romero Farms have all been succulent and delicious.

As it happens, The Splendid Table recently featured a recipe for cauliflower “couscous” by David Tanis that caught my eye and, once I prepared it, satisfied my palate.

The Recipe


  • Salt
  • 1 large cauliflower (about 3 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, with a paring knife, cut the cauliflower into tiny florets, as small as possible. (Save the stems and other trimmings for making soup.) You should have about 8 cups.
  2. Working in batches, cook the florets in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender but still firm. Scoop them from the pot with a small strainer or a spider, blot on kitchen towels, and let cool.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the turmeric, cayenne, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Put the cauliflower in a large bowl and season lightly with salt. Drizzle the butter over it and toss gently. (The seasoned cauliflower can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 hours or covered and refrigerated overnight.)
  4. Transfer the cauliflower to an ovenproof serving dish. Put in the oven and heat through, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the chives and lime juice and serve.

This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!