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Bulgur & Rose Salad

This is a satiating salad from all sides, the kind that we love, with depth and substance, fragrance and zing. It is a great barbecue accompaniment, topped with sheep and goat halloumi fresh from the grill, spiced, charred chicken or kebab. Try it with our simple turkey kofte or enjoy by itself with a good dollop of our hummus or super seasonal broad bean dip. Maybe a sprinkling of feta, young sheep cheese or beyaz peynir. Whichever way it is an evocative summer conjuring of the Middle East, via the tips of North Africa; heat and vista; smoke and spice, emerging from the cheap, humble and seasonal as the best fare always does!

Ingredients

3 spilling handfuls of bulgur / cracked wheat
1 tsp. dried organic vegetable bouillon
1 medium sized red onion, thinly sliced
380g / 1 carton or tin of green / French or puy lentils
A big handful of fresh mint
A sieve full of seasonal leaves – (we used a beautifully fresh bunch of watercress from the farm shop but rocket or spinach also would work well)
A handful of almonds, roughly chopped and toasted in a dry pan
Rose petals
2 limes
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Good extra virgin olive oil

For our black za’tar:
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp nigella / black onion seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sumac
Sea salt

Method

  • 1 In a saucepan, cover your bulgur with water and add the bouillon. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes until your grains are tender but retain some bite
  • 2 While your bulgur cooks, char your sliced red onion in a dry frying pan until it starts to colour. Remove to your salad bowl and toast your chopped almonds in the same pan
  • 3 Add the chopped seasonal leaves, chopped mint, almonds and rinsed lentils to the salad bowl keeping a little mint and some almond shards aside for dressing
  • 4 For the black za’tar, toast your sesame seeds, cumin and nigella in a dry pan, when they start to colour add the thyme, sumac and salt and shake the pan for 20 seconds or so. Remove to a mortar and grind with your pestle to a coarse powder
  • 5 When your bulgur is cooked, drizzle with olive oil and scrape through with a fork. Add to your salad bowl with half of the za’tar and toss well to combine your ingredients
  • 6 Add the juice of two limes, a good drizzle of olive oil and a good grind of black pepper and stir through. Scatter 10 or so rose petals to dress, with your remaining mint, almonds and za’tar and a final splash of olive oil