13 October 2010
More salad inspiration...
This is not the tabbouleh you find in your local kebab shop! Here in NZ that would be parsley and little else. Not very appetising and certainly not very tasty. This tabbouleh is at the other end of the spectrum. It is full of chewy bulgur wheat, the freshest tomatoes, fresh herbs and spring onions plus a dressing that pops with garlic, cinnamon and allspice. So layers of flavour and lots of texture make for one delicious salad. The bulgur wheat fills it out with chewy goodness so this would serve well as an alternative to your usual side of potatoes or rice. It would be lovely with some simply barbequed or grilled lamb for simple spring dinner. Or any barbequed meat for that matter, so this is a salad that makes regular appearances over Summer.
This salad comes courtesy of Moro The Cookbook, which I have mentioned before. Yes, it is one of my favourites and given the number of cookbooks I have I think that is high praise indeed. A little Spanish, a little Moroccan, a little more of the Mediterranean - a book full of delicious recipes and what I especially love is that the sides are just as important as the main event. Absolutely no reason why sides should be dull or uninteresting . So here it is completely un-tweaked as perfect as it is. If you are lucky enough to be in London go check out the restaurant.
To make this salad sing use flat leaf parsley and be gentle when chopping the herbs to avoid bruising them. So a sharp knife is a must. Can't recommend highly enough investing in some good knives, I couldn't be without mine, best kitchen investment by far. And for the tomatoes take your time, "for they must look jewel-like and not at all squashed"
Parsley: Possibly the most used herb in the kitchen. Parsley is native to the Mediterranean where it has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years and was used medicinally before being more commonly used as a food. The ancient Greeks held parsley to be sacred, using it to not only adorn victors of athletic contests, but also for decorating the tombs of the deceased. Parsley is full of flavonoids which function as antioxidants, plus vitamins A and C. So tasty and good for you too. If you like parsley just grab a couple of plants from your local garden centre for a dollar or 2 and in not time at all you will have a fresh supply on hand. It is really easy to grow just plant, water and off you go. If some does go to seed don't worry as it will self seed and grow new plants. I have parsley popping up all over the place.
Parsley Likes: all meats, fish and seafood, almost all vegetables, cheeses, eggs and grains.
85g fine bulgur wheat (I used regular and still delicious)
400g sweetest tomatoes, seeded and cut in to 5mm cubes
4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
3 small bunches fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 small bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with salt (use the back of a knife)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
With fine bulgur wheat all you have to do is wash it well in a sieve and shake it dry; it will have absorbed enough water for it to swell. If using medium bulgur just sit it in cold water for 3 minutes to swell before it is put in the sieve.
Mix all the salad ingredients together. To make the dressing first add the garlic, salt and spices to the lemon juice (the flavours are more easily dispersed and dissolved) and then stir in the olive oil. Toss the salad just before you are ready to eat and do a final check for seasoning.