Valley Fig Growers

Jeweled Cauliflower Rice with California Figs

Makes 4 to 6 servings


5 cups cauliflower florets, about 1 head

2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 3/4 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup chopped Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Mission Figs (6 ounces)

1 2-inch piece lemon zest

1 cup hot water

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 red onion, halved and sliced into half moons

Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh cilantro

Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh parsley

Leaves from 1 sprig fresh mint

½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

¼ cup pomegranate seeds (about ½ pomegranate, seeded)


  1. Make the cauliflower rice: Pulse the cauliflower florets in two batches in a food processor, until finely chopped (they will resemble rice grains). Set aside. 
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 ¾ teaspoon salt, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and a dash of pepper; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower, gently folding it into the spiced oil until coated. Stir in the figs, lemon zest, and water. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is fork tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Make the crispy onions: Line a plate with a paper towel. Set aside. Separate the stacked onion into single slices. Mix the flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and dash of pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge the onion slices in the flour. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into a large skillet, set over medium heat. Place the onion slices in a single layer in the skillet. Saute until golden brown on both sides, turning gently with tongs. Place them on the paper towel-lined plate. 
  4. To assemble the cauliflower rice:  Stack the cilantro, parsley, and mint leaves. Finely chop the herbs. Spoon the cauliflower rice into a large shallow bowl or serving platter; remove and discard the lemon zest. Top with the crispy onions, almonds, pomegranate seeds, and the finely chopped herbs. Serve immediately.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld