Za'atar Rubbed Pork Chop with cauliflower rice tabbouleh
Mediterranean-inspired flavors are the key to this simple, colorful meal. Tabbouleh is a fresh salad made with lots of parsley and finely diced vegetables. To lighten this version up and give it some crunch, we use cauliflower rice instead of the traditional bulgur grain.
Smarts: We used thin-cut pork chops (2 / serving) in the photos. These are often sold pre-cut at the butcher’s counter and cook faster than thicker chops.
- Cauliflower florets - 10 oz (look for pre-chopped “riced" cauliflower from the produce or freezer section)
- Butter - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Pork chops, boneless or bone-in - 4
- Za'atar spice mix - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Shallots - 1 clove, diced
- Cucumbers - 8 oz, diced
- Tomatoes, medium - 1, diced
- Parsley - 1 1/2 cups, chopped (curly leaf will hold up best, but flat leaf will also work)
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Cauliflower rice (ingredients listed separately) - 1 1/2 cups
- Cauliflower rice - (Skip if cauliflower rice was made ahead for Monday.) Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in butter. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Saute cauliflower in heated butter for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Shallots / Cucumbers / Tomatoes / Parsley - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Pork - Tenderize pork chops with a fork and cover on all sides with Za’atar. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Heat a skillet with cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and sear on each side for ~3 minutes. For thin pork chops, this should be enough heat to cook them through. If you’re using thicker pork chops, lower heat and cover with a piece of foil until pork reaches 145F / 63C degrees.
- Let pork chops rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
- While pork chops rest, make tabbouleh by combining shallots, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and cauliflower rice. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. Add an extra squeeze of lemon juice if you’d like the tabbouleh more tart.
- Serve pork chops with tabbouleh on the side. If you have any herb yogurt sauce (or plain yogurt) leftover from Monday, add a spoonful on top of the tabbouleh to give it some extra creaminess. Enjoy!
We really enjoyed the vegetarian za'atar and cannellini beans, but served it tapas-style over thin sliced bread. The yogurt spread really made it pop. The cucumber salad was also good, but plan to add jalapeños and use cilantro instead of parsley next time.0 Helpful
Delicious! Cooked it on the stovetop and the chops were perfect. I used couscous instead of cauliflower rice.0 Helpful
my whole family loved this. we did thin sliced pork chops and it was way easier to cook on the stovetop than the thicker chips i usually do. loved both the tabboleh (with extra lemon and salt) and the chops (with a generous amount of za’atar and some salt). also, it was super quick and easy.0 Helpful
This was fine. My kid really liked the pork. My wife really liked the tabbouleh. I think using breakfast cut pork chops would taste better than the thick ones...also the taste of whatever marinade you like may actually flavor the meat. I also think the tabbouleh would taste pretty good with some feta crumbled in it.0 Helpful
I've never had za'atar before and really liked it. I used a cast iron skillet to do the pork chops in, and while they were resting I reused the same skillet to cook the cauliflower rice in to give it a little crisp and za'atar flavoring. The tabbouleh was great and I will definitely make this again.0 Helpful
Did not make the pork (waited too long, pork went bad) but made a double portion of the tabbouleh for guests. Everyone loved it. I think I prefer the rice cauliflower over bulgar. Since I had read the reviews before, I was very conscious of the seasoning. Felt like I had to add a lot of salt, pepper, and extra olive oil. Wasn't sure what else to add though. Feel like it is a great base recipe that just needs a tweak.0 Helpful