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!
This meal has 29 reviews
We LOVED this. Surprised at the less-than-enthusiastic reviews. I love Za'atar seasoning and tabbouleh. I am not particularly a fan of pork chops but I make them when they come up for cooksmarts, and YUM. My husband says this is a favorite, and I loved how easy it was to make. My toddler gobbled hers up - including the pork, which is surprising since meat's usually not her thing. I subbed garlic for the shallot and regular rice for the cauliflower rice (forgot to get 2 bags of it) but made it per recipe. I would use 2 tomatoes next time, but that's the only change I'd make (aside from making more yogurt sauce from Monday's meal!).
We enjoyed this but probably won't make it again. We subbed pearl couscous instead of riced cauliflower in the tabouleh.
Husband loved it. For me and MIL, it was just ok. I didn’t like the salad. Toddler tolerated it. I used way less cucumbers and zucchini recommended. The ratio turned out better.
First off, I guess I'm sheltered because I had to google Za'atar spice, find a recipe somewhere else, then drive to a few markets looking for sumac. I couldn't find anyone selling it prepared as Za'atar so I think working that into the recipe would be a big boon. Overall I took the advice of a lot of people here - the tabbouleh sounded like it was going to be more of a chunky salsa of meh flavors so I just bought some pre mixed regular Tabbouleh from Trader Joe's which went well with the meal. I liked the texture of the sesame seeds on the pork but I felt it could use a bit more of a savory element, since the sumac lent a very citrusy flavor. Finished the dinner but not one I'd be excited to make again.
Wow, I can't believe how good this was! I was a little skeptical of a veggie burrito (I usually eat meat, just don't like pork much), but this burrito was incredible. Loved all the veggies! And I could eat 10 servings of that salad! I added extra lemon juice to the yogurt sauce and some dried dill.
I added garlic powder and salt to the pork and it was so flavorful in combination with the za'atar seasoning. The tabbouleh was delicious too! I was careful to taste and add more salt as needed. I used frozen cauliflower rice that was the "veggie herb" seasoning blend and sauteed it in a frying pan with butter as the original recipe suggested. Everything was very flavorful and delicious. Tabbouleh was even better the second day. Will make this again.