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Kale and Preserved Lemon ‘Couscous’ Cauliflower Rice (AIP/Paleo)

Kale and Preserved Lemon Couscous Cauliflower Rice


Kale and Preserved Lemon Couscous Cauliflower Rice

I shared this play on a Peter Gordon-inspired Kale and Preserved Lemon Couscous recipe back in July 2016. Since I still love it so much, I thought it may be time for a wee zjoosh.

Because trust me – this baby is a winner!

The real tipping point on this tasty and nutrient dense little number is that it is one of those side dishes that improves with a little fridge time. It’s the combination of mint and preserved lemon working their collective magic, I think. That means you can serve it two days running (or, even three. If it lasts that long at your place!)

And, you know how much I love the ‘cook once to eat twice’ mantra!

I (still) have a foodie fan-girl crush on the ever delicious Kiwi chef, Peter Gordon. I first confessed to it back in 2012. See – I’m no fickle, fly-by-nighter when it comes to fan-girl crushes!

“I love the endless possibilities of food and wine, and the variety of produce from around the world. Because I view the globe as my pantry, anything is up for grabs. If I was only cooking the food of one region in one country, I’d have less fun.” – Peter Gordon

David – knowing all about my foodie fan-girl crush – picked up a copy of Peter’s cookbook, Savour – Salads for All Seasons for me. It’s full of all sorts of Peter Gordon-esque flavour combinations that just rock. It’s what he’s famous for, after all.

Have I mentioned just how much of a food porn addict I am? This book is lovely. Really. You should definitely check it out.

Kale and Preserved Lemon 'Couscous' Cauliflower Rice

But, as with so many non-AIP specific cookbooks, it’s full of ingredients that are off the table while on the Autoimmune Protocol. Grains and nightshades, in particular.

As with another of my crushes, Mr. Ottolenghi, it’s often challenging to find grain-free and nightshade-free Peter Gordon recipes…

The answer is to convert them!

Mr. Gordon has a recipe for Kale and Preserved Lemon Couscous in his fab’ cookbook. It really sounded amazing.

Only, couscous was a primary ingredient in his recipe…

Of course, couscous is a pseudo-grain made by rolling durum wheat flour with salted water to form wee kernels. These grains cook in just a few minutes, making couscous a convenient side dish.

All well and good BUT, couscous definitely does not feature on the Autoimmune Protocol ‘approved foods’ list.

So, I have borrowed heavily from Mr. Gordon’s recipe and created an AIP-compliant version

My version uses cauliflower ‘couscous’. So, you get an extra hit of nutrient density.

Cauliflower rice (or couscous) is the golden child ingredient of grain-free peeps. It is so venerated, I have even heard stories of people serving it to dinner guests who never even realised they weren’t eating the real thing. True story. AIP muggles are everywhere!

And (kitchen hack alert!), raw cauliflower rice freezes well. So, I always chop up a big cauli’ for pulsing in my trusty food processor and freeze the leftovers in portion sizes. Works a treat!

Along with the couscous and kale, preserved lemon is another of the recipe’s key ingredients.

Preserved lemons are a tradition of Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking. They give a wonderfully aromatic piquancy to salsa, salads, fish, poultry or lamb. Their unique pickled taste coupled with a sort of silken texture can’t be duplicated with fresh lemon or lime juice. It’s a real flavour enhancer. And, it kind of makes this dish.

This baby is great as an accompaniment for simply grilled meat, poultry or fish. We often serve ours with little lamb chops simply grilled on the barbecue. It maries equally well with fresh fish.

Kale and Preserved Lemon 'Couscous' Cauliflower Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is AIP friendly. Inspired by a recipe by Peter Gordon.
Recipe type: Sides & Sauces
Serves: 4
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small brown onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 cups riced (couscous) cauliflower
  • 1 bunch kale, approx. 250g, stems removed
  • 25 mint leaves
  • ½ a preserved lemon
  • Sea salt
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of your olive oil in a large fry pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add your finely diced onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add your riced cauliflower to the pan and season with sea salt. Sauté for a further 5 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent sticking, until tender. Take care not to overcook the couscous or it will be mushy.
  4. Blanch the kale for 3 minutes. Plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid.
  5. Pop the kale, mint and remaining olive oil into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse into coarse 'crumbs'. You will need to stop in between pulses and scrape down the sides of your bowl. Take care not to puree your kale!
  6. Take your preserved lemon and scoop out all the flesh into a sieve. Pass the juice through the sieve, discarding any leftover pips and flesh. Now, chop the lemon rind finely and mix them together.
  7. Stir the kale 'crumbs' and preserved lemon through the cauliflower 'coscous'. Taste and season.
Tip: for evenly sized cauliflower 'rice' or 'couscous', don't over-fill the bowl of your food processor.

E N J O Y !

This recipe features in the Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable

Want more tasty sides that won’t wilt after a day in the fridge?

Superfood Hauskraut Slaw

SUPERFOOD ‘Hauskraut’ Slaw








‘Eat a Rainbow’ Beetroot, Carrot, and Herb Salad








AIP Tabbouleh – Nightshade, Nut and Wheat Free!


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Comments (5)

Doh, I finished the last preserved lemon last week. I made a new batch on the weekend but they won’t be ready for a month, and I am not going to pay $12 for a small jar. So I will hold this recipe for mid August 🙂

Melanie – it’ll hold. Are preserved lemons not one of life’s pleasures?

Absolutely! I love them. Plenty of unwaxed lemons available at the markets at the moment, I picked up a huge bagful for about $10 last Friday. So far my lemon tree has not produced a single lemon, but it is only 2 years old. Maybe next year.
My fave use for preserved lemon is slow roast shoulder of lamb. I sit the lamb on a bed of about 2 lemons (cut in quarters), sprinkle over some salt flakes and roast for about 3-4 hours at 120C. We had it Sat night – hence I’m out of preserved lemons now. I saw some on the shelf at Wholefoods in Mona yesterday – $12 for a jar of perhaps 1 1/2 or 2 lemons!!!!!!

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