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Cauliflower & Beetroot ‘Couscous’ Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts



This beetroot recipe came about as I was thinking about a nice vegetable dish to go with our lamb cutlets. I often make a beetroot, mint and walnut salad with some goats cheese but I wanted something a little more fun that night. Then I started thinking that maybe I should make my yummy cauliflower couscous with pomegranate (recipe in my cookbook) instead. You can guess what happened next.

I combined two ideas and ended up with a beetroot and cauliflower couscous-like salad with roasted hazelnuts, garlic and parsley. Such a perfect compliment to the lamb and a fantastic little salad on its own if I may say so. It was also super easy and fast. I hope you enjoy it.
Cook’s notes: Other nuts can be used instead of hazelnuts, I recommend to toast/roast them first for extra flavour. You could use carrot instead of beetroot for an orange coloured version. You will need a food processor or mad knife skills for this recipe, basically lots of fine chopping. If you can’t get a hold of hazelnut oil, simply use 4 -5 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil or macadamia oil.

Cauliflower & Beetroot Paleo ‘Couscous’ Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts

Cauliflower & Beetroot Paleo ‘Couscous’ Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad



  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon ghee/butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 medium raw beetroots, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or mint

For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Juice of 2/3 medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon hazelnut oil (or extra olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (optional but adds a nice touch)


  1. Heat a medium frying pan and toast the hazelnuts over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Transfer to a bowl and set to cool slightly. Then place them in a towel and rub together with your hands, the shells will peel off easily.
  2. In the same frying pan, sauté the onion in some ghee and a little sea salt for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown and soft. Place beetroot, garlic and most of the hazelnuts (reserve a few whole nuts for garnish) in a food processor and grind into small crumbs. Alternatively chop finely with a knife. Add ground beetroot, garlic and hazelnuts to sautéed onion and cook together for a minute or two, add extra ghee if needed.
  3. Place cauliflower florets in the food processor and grind together into small crumbs. Add to the beetroot mix in the frying pan and stir through for a minute. Transfer everything to a large salad bowl.
  4. Mix and pour the dressing over the salad, add parsley or mint and stir well together. Taste for salt and acidity, add a little more lemon juice if needed. Garnish with whole hazelnuts, parsley and some extra grated lemon zest.

beets recipes couscous salad with hazelnuts recipe

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  1. Hi, I’m really loving your recipes, but I often like to plan out my meals and cook when I have the spare time so I was wondering if you could include how long these kind of foods last for when refrigerated and whether they can be frozen if possible?

    Thank you!

    1. Thanks Sarah. I will where I can :) A lot of the times the foods don’t last very long because we eat them too quickly.

  2. YUM made this for dinner tonight, love “hiding” vegies for the kids and it tastes great. Didn’t have a few things so changed it slightly, slivered almonds instead of hazelnuts, limes instead of lemons and wholegrain mustard in place of dijion mustard. DELICIOUS thank you :)

  3. You mentioned carrots could replace the beet. Would you guess one or two carrots for the correct portion? Thanks. This looks wonderful and inventive as all your creations are. Please don’t stop! :)

  4. I find the word ‘couscous’ in the title very confusing on two fronts. Firstly, as couscous is a wheat product I would normally have dismissed this recipe immediately just by looking at the title, and secondly, couscous is not used in the recipe. You’ve just lost potential GF/paleo users and confused some poor soul looking for interesting couscous recipes.

    1. The reason it’s called couscous is because it resembles the couscous in its look and feel. It’s well known in the paleo community to use finely ground cauliflower instead of rice or couscous in the recipes that would normally call for the latter. The same as zucchini noodles. Perhaps it should be called Paleo ‘couscous’ – would that have made you actually try the recipe instead rather than focus on the title? It really is tasty, I promise :)

    2. i saw ‘couscous’ in the recipe and knew exactly where you were going with it. It’s like reading cauliflower ‘rice’, it just means it’s what it most closely resembles in the paleo world :) it actually drew me into the recipe, as I loved the texture of couscous – different strokes for different folks huh! :P

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