Bulgur Wheat & Lentil Salad | Salada Me Pourgouri Kai Fakes
This salad is another speciality of…you guessed it…my mother. I think mum loves the fact that her little boy (or ‘agapi’ as I’m still referred to, which means ‘my sweetheart’ in Greek) has taken an enthusiasm for what she does in the kitchen. I have ‘borrowed’ just a few of the books from her library of cookbooks (not that she’d notice, there’s so many). However what’s most important to me, and what FeedTim is all about, are her own recipes that she has written down. I really do feel blessed that my mum has recorded almost all of her recipes, because each one has a story behind it. These are the stories I’m out to discover with this blog.
This is my 2nd recipe that uses Bulgur Wheat as the main ingredient. My mum took inspiration from the elaborate Lebanese salads when preparing this one and it’s a real winner when cooking for family and friends (especially because you can prepare it the day before). This particular recipe feeds 6 -8 people, and I recommend using these measurements as a minimum. The more the better, since it’s so nice to keep over the following days for lunch topped with some proper Greek yoghurt.
The beauty of this salad is that you can really play around with it. Please use mine as a guide, but add anything that tickles your fancy. I’ve made this previously with feta cheese, olives and even dried apricots or dates when I found myself daydreaming about the Medinas of Morocco.
Serves 6 – 8
Preparation Time – 40 mins (leave in fridge for minimum 2 hours)
Bulgur Wheat – 200g (coarse)
Chilli Flakes – ½ teaspoon dried or crushed (depending on taste)
Stock – 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube dissolved in 400ml of recently boiled water
Green Lentils – 50g, picked over and rinsed
Roasted Red Peppers OR Sundried Peppers in Olive Oil – 1 x 290g jar, roughly chopped
Red Onion – 1 small, peeled and finely sliced
Garlic – 1 clove, peeled and finely chopped
Parsley – approx. 50 g finely chopped + little extra for garnish (it must be FINELY chopped)
Fresh Mint Leaves – 1 good handful, roughly torn
Dried Mint – 1 tablespoon
Ground Cumin – 1 heaped teaspoon
Ground Cinnamon – ½ teaspoon
Lime Zest – 1 lime, finely grated
Lime Juice – 2 limes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Bulgur Wheat & Chilli Flakes – place into a large bowl and pour in the hot stock. Stir well and set aside for 30 mins
Green Lentils – place into a saucepan and pour enough cold water to cover them by about 2 inches (my standard ratio for lentils is 3 cups water to 1 cup lentils). Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low. Leave to simmer partially covered for 15-20 mins. Stir them from time to time and try a few towards the end of cooking time.(You’re looking for them to be slightly ‘al dente’ with a bit of bite to them. Basically not mushy).
Once cooked, remove the lentils from the heat, drain in a sieve and rinse well under cold water (to stop them cooking further). Set aside to drain completely
Red peppers (reserving some oil for dressing), red onion, garlic, parsley and fresh mint - chop
Once the bulgur wheat is ready, take a large serving bowl and combine the bulgur with the lentils. Mix in the peppers, red onion, garlic, parsley, fresh and dried mint, cumin, cinnamon and lime zest
Pour over the lime juice and olive oil from the pepper jar and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
Stir well to combine everything. You may find that a couple more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil are needed to loosen it up some more
Cover with cling film and pop the bowl in the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating
Garnish with some more chopped parsley before serving