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!
Pork was pretty bland, but okay. It’s a big no from me on the tabbouleh. Parsley’s not my favorite, so having it be equivalent to the cauliflower rice was nauseating. Probably more on me than anything.0 Helpful
The pork was really lacking something. I’m probably a dolt and didn’t read between the lines to remember to salt and pepper the pork (despite the recipe just saying to use Zaatar) - so adding a little after it was done cooking helped. But it still felt lacking...maybe it needed some kind of acid or a longer marinade. I appreciate that this was really quick and easy though.0 Helpful
We loved this! Had some leftover wild rice in the fridge that we subbed for the cauliflower. The sesame seeds in our zaatar blend toasted up nicely when we seared the pork. Delicious!0 Helpful
I liked the idea of using cauliflower rice, but the tabbouleh ended up being quite bland. There was nothing wrong with this meal, but it was pretty much a shrug.0 Helpful
Loved the cauliflower tabbouleh. Couldn't fine zatar so used the leftover seasoning from the Indian chicken.0 Helpful
Really easy to make, but somehow ended up as “meh.” Maybe just not in the mood for it tonight.0 Helpful