AIP Food Sides & Sauces

Peter Gordon-Inspired Kale and Preserved Lemon ‘Couscous’ Cauliflower Rice

July 20, 2016

JFC AIP Couscous


“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

I (still) have a foodie fan-girl crush on 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!

A few weeks back, David – knowing all about my crush – picked up a copy of Peter’s latest cookbook, Savour – Salads for All Seasons. It’s full of all sorts of Peter Gordon-esque flavour combinations that just rock.

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

Peter Gordon Savour

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.

Over three years since my last tomato!

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. 

And, 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 served ours with little lamb chops courtesy of Farmer George.

Kale and Preserved Lemon 'Couscous' Cauliflower Rice
Recipe type: Sides & Sauces
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe is AIP friendly. Inspired by a recipe by Peter Gordon.
  • 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

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  • Melanie July 20, 2016 at 9:29 am

    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 🙂

    • Joanna Frankham July 20, 2016 at 9:38 am

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

      • Melanie July 20, 2016 at 9:44 am

        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!!!!!!

  • MIGHTY Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Rosemary (AIP/Paleo) – August 4, 2016 at 9:05 am

    […] versatile and can be prepared in a myriad of different ways (as evidenced by my recent take on Peter Gordon’s Kale and Preserved Lemon ‘Couscous’ and this little number for Cauliflower and Leek Soup or this one for Saffron Infused […]

  • 25 AIP Recipes to Eat More Kale! April 17, 2017 at 10:02 am

    […] Kale and preserved lemon cauliflower rice from Joanna Frankham […]

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