You can’t go wrong with this classic Middle-Eastern dish, with its abundance of fresh herbs, tangy zestiness and nutty grains. It’s a summer staple in my household when tomatoes are ripe and full of flavour and the bbq season is in full swing, as it makes such a great side dish – although obviously this year the season has got off to a hobbling start, with a paltry two bbq’s so far. However, even without regular bbq’s to encourage my tabbouleh consumption I still love to make it often because it’s such a healthy, fresh and lively tasting salad. Continue reading
The traditional tabbouleh uses a lot less bulgar wheat as this version is definitely on the more substantial side. Nothing wrong with that! It’s a lovely fresh and vibrant salad and would welcome the addition of a kick of red chilli too. See if you can get hold of mango varieties such as Alphonse and Ataulfo, available in the fantastic Asian and Middle Eastern food stores around. These luscious scented beauties knock the socks off the supermarket ones. I love to gnaw (in a rather uncouth messy way!) at the leftover mango around the stone – check for stringy pieces dangling from your mouth before leaving the house though.
Serves 4 as a side dish. 30 minutes prep
150g bulgar wheat
1 large ripe mango
4 spring onions
Small bunch of coriander and mint
Juice of 1 lemon
1 heaped tbsp black onion seeds
Salt and pepper
- Put the bulgar wheat into a large bowl. Pour over boiling water and cover with cling film. Leave for 15 minutes then drain and leave to cool. Once cool enough to handle squeeze out any excess moisture.
- Meanwhile, remove the tough stalks from the spring onion and slice finely. Peel the mango then slice the cheeks off both sides of the stone. Cut into large slices then dice. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds then cut into thin half moons.
- Add the bulgar wheat to a large serving bowl and mix in the spring onions, mango, cucumber, chopped herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, black onion seeds and salt and pepper. Serve.
OK, this is an Ottolenghi recipe so I can’t claim this one of my own creations. I just love aubergines and their ability to absorb flavors – this dish is one of the tastiest ways to serve them, with the marinade and dressing providing extra layers of flavour. To enjoy this dish at its best griddle the aubergines first to get an incredible smokiness. Yes, it will fill you kitchen with smoke but that’s a small price to pay for the result (the striped effect looks good too!). If you’re feeling lazy you can roast them straight in the oven but it’s worth the extra effort. I like to serve this as part of a mezze meal alongside other dishes such as tabbouleh, Moroccan lamb and hummus with flatbreads. For a veggie meal it would go well with some griddled haloumi.
Serves 4 as a side dish
40 minutes, plus 1 hour of marinating
3 aubergines (firm, glossy ones are best)
Olive oil for brushing
Salt and pepper
1 red chilli
1-2 garlic cloves (depends how much of a garlic fiend you are)
4 tbsp good quality olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Large handful of fresh corriander (parsley works well too)
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp of tahini
2 tbsp spoons of Greek or natural yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 small garlic clove (optional)
3-4 tbsp spoons of water
Corriander or parsley (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 180C / gas 4 / 350F.
- Heat up griddle pan on a high gas until smoking. Prepare aubergines by trimming stalk end and then cut in half width ways. Then cut long ways into wedges, trying to keep as equal size as possible. Brush all over with oil and season with salt and pepper. Griddle in batches for about 2 minutes each side – until you have dark charred marks.
- Put the aubergines skin side down on a non-stick baking tray and roast in oven for 15 minutes, or until soft all the way through. If you haven’t griddled the aubergines first then they will need about 20-25 minutes.
- Whilst the aubergines are cooking prepare the marinade. Finely chop the chilli, garlic and herbs. Mix with the rest of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
- Once the aubergines are cooked put them straight into the bowl of marinade and stir gently to cover. Doing this while they are still hot means they really soak up the flavours. Leave to marinade for an hour.
- Meanwhile, mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl – adding more water to get to a thick but pouring consistency. Taste it as you may want to add more garlic or lemon to suit your tastes. Drizzle the dressing over the aubergines and finish by adding more chopped fresh herbs. Alternatively, whizz all the dressing ingredients in a mini processor with lots of chopped corriander or parsley to make a green dressing. Either is delicious.