Dolmas Salad with Roasted Cauliflower Rice

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This dolmas salad with roasted cauliflower rice makes a delicious side dish for lamb or white fish. It is loosely based on dolmas ingredients with grape leaves, raisins, pine nuts, parsley, mint, green onions, lemon juice and deliciously moist roasted cauliflower rice flavored with ground coriander seeds.

dolmas salad with roasted cauliflower rice

Hello, hello! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. I’ve got something entirely plant-based and healthy today to combat any turkey, gravy and pie overload you may be suffering from.

It’s a delicious side dish salad that is loosely based on dolmas ingredients with grape leaves, raisins, pine nuts, parsley, mint, green onions, rice (sort of) and lemon juice.

A friend of mine made this salad for us a while ago (she followed this recipe from Sunset magazine) and I modified it a bit and substituted cauliflower rice for actual rice, purely because I had never made it and was curious.

Now, if you’ve never had cauliflower rice you’re probably thinking “Are you kidding me, how could you possibly pass off cauliflower as rice?” At least that’s what I thought before I tried it but trust me, it actually really does kind of taste like rice, only better because it’s much less dry.

How to make roasted cauliflower rice:

Making the cauliflower rice is quite simple actually. You add cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulse them until they have the consistency of rice. Then you toss the “rice” with oil and ground coriander, spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes. That’s all there is to do for the rice.

How to make the dolmas salad:

For the actual salad, you just heat up the olive oil and then saute the remaining ingredients (including the rice) in it. Done!

I suggest you serve this salad with lamb or white fish, like tilapia.


Related Post:

Looking for more salads? I can recommend this Salad with Baked Goat Cheese Tarragon Patties:

salad with baked goat cheese tarragon patties

dolmas salad with roasted cauliflower rice
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Dolmas Salad with Roasted Cauliflower Rice

Adapted from Sunset.
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Turkish
Keyword: cauliflower rice, dolmas salad
Servings: 3
Calories: 280kcal


For the cauliflower rice:

  • florets from one small head of cauliflower, cut the larger ones so that all are about equal in size
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

For the salad:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped grape leaves, reserve the brine
  • the cauliflower rice
  • 1/4 cup grape leaf brine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped raisins
  • 1.5 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • salt and pepper


For the cauliflower rice:

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Working in batches, pulse the cauliflower in the food processor until it has the consistency of rice.
  • Toss the cauliflower with the oil and the coriander and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Roast for 10 minutes.

For the salad:

  • Heat the oil on medium heat until shimmering.
  • Add the nuts and green onions and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add the grape leaves and the cauliflower rice and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the remaining ingredients, then season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Calories: 280kcal

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dolmas salad with roasted cauliflower rice


  1. Kevin | Keviniscooking says:

    This one caught my eye by the title then the photo, lovely and a great idea! Just another beautiful presentation and photo.
    Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one, we’ve up in Beavercreek outside Portland for a blissful week of no work or blogging, just chill and hikes – and eating!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Kevin! Chilling, hiking and eating – sounds like a perfect vacation. We just got back from New Mexico, doing pretty much the same. :) I do have to visit Oregon sometime, I keep hearing such great things about it but I’ve never been.

  2. Mary (The Godmother @ Goodie Godmother) says:

    This sounds refreshing! I’m so torn between wanting to try it the next time I open a bottle of grape leaves or sticking to my family’s recipe for rolled grape leaves (it’s one of my favorite foods ever!). Maybe this is something I’ll make with a few torn leaves. ;) Looks wonderful!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Mary! This was actually the very first time I ever bought grape leaves (took me forever to find them in the store), I can imagine there are all kinds of other fun recipes to use them in. I definitely want to experiment a bit more with them :)

  3. Maggie says:

    Love the idea of decorating the salad with a piece of grape leaf! Shooting a salad with less colors is definitely a challenge, and I really like the way you present it. The cauliflower rice sounds very delicious too!

  4. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says:

    I really think it turned out great. I love that grape leaf under the salad.Now Nicole, I’ve yet to see one of your photos as boring — dark, moody, inspiring but boring? Never!! I am so looking forward to your dry ice verdict. Sure would help out my “steam” situation.

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