Moroccan Cauliflower With Preserved Lemon

Moroccan cauliflower


vm2002 / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
331 Calories
28g Fat
21g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3
Amount per serving
Calories 331
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 35%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1130mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 145mg 724%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 554mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cauliflower has become a popular vegetable to have around the house. There are just so many things you can do with this delicious and versatile veggie. The recipes abound from using it to make rice, in casseroles, roasting the florets, mashing it to make creamy "potatoes," making a pizza crust, and much more. This Moroccan cauliflower recipe is sure to become a delightful addition to your repertoire as an easy side or vegetarian main dish.

Turmeric gives this cauliflower the bright yellow color, while other Moroccan spices and preserved lemon add a zesty flavor. Simply mix, sauté, and simmer for a delightful dish that's ready in less than 40 minutes. 

Enjoy it on its own, with a tossed salad, or with your favorite protein. 


  • 1 large head cauliflower

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • Freshly ground black pepper, or cayenne pepper, to taste

  • 1 onion, sliced or coarsely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1 preserved lemon, quartered

  • 1 handful red olives, or purple olives

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Break the cauliflower into small florets; wash and drain. Mix the cauliflower with the spices—cumin, ginger, salt, paprika, turmeric, black or cayenne pepper (whichever you choose)—and set aside.

  3. In a wide, deep skillet or Dutch oven, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for just a few minutes. Add the cauliflower, preserved lemon, olives, and water, and bring to a simmer.

  4. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring gently once or twice until the cauliflower is just tender. Continue cooking, uncovered, to reduce the liquids to oil only.

  5. Sprinkle the fresh cilantro over the cauliflower and serve.


  • The preserved lemons are an absolute must for this dish and cannot be substituted. They provide an intense lemony zing that cannot be duplicated with a regular lemon.
  • Get a head start on making this dish by breaking up the cauliflower head into the florets. They will keep it in the fridge in a zip-top bag for four days.

How to Store

  • Cooked cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container or zip-top bag for three to four days.

The Colors of Cauliflower

While most people are familiar with the white cauliflower, there are actually a few other colorful varieties available. You might find a cauliflower that is a bright purple or vibrant orange or even a vivid green color. They all have the edible flesh that looks similar to a cheese curd and can be used in any recipes that call for cauliflower.