“Mum’s Bulgar Wheat Salad” from “On the Side”

I would never diss a recipe that has Mum in the title, given that my most favourite recipes are those that have been passed down to me or the ones that I learned by helping my mother. (Thanks to my mom, I never worry about making a pie crust. I really don’t know why people stress over that, but perhaps that’s an entry for another time.)

This is like a watered-down version of tabbouleh, but given that we don’t always have the time to chop a load of parsley and other ingredients, this would be a great alternative for those time-starved times. I made the Tabbouleh from “Happy Salads” and we loved it, though that was truly a tabbouleh.

I made this to go with our barbeque and it was perfect in that it took very little time to make but sat quite happily alongside all the food we threw on the grill to cook for dinner (steak, peppers, halloumi) and those we didn’t (a bit of rocket salad).

I thought when making it that I should throw in some feta cheese to liven it up a bit. I resisted the urge, though if I made it again, I probably would, though it’s pretty good without it too.

Recommended for summer nights when you need an interesting salad on the side.

Google has indexed this book, so if you’d like to try this yourself, click through this sentence. 

 

 

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“Mum’s Bulgar Wheat Salad” from “On the Side”

“Spicy Chickpea and Bulgar Soup” from “Plenty More”

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It was a (very) cold, wet, winter Monday, the latest in a string of cold, wet, miserable days here in the Big Smoke. This soup seemed just the thing for Meat Free Monday.

Ottolenghi says in the introduction that this is the sort of recipe you can make at any time, because all of the ingredients will probably be found in your refrigerator or cupboard already, and that was true for me too. I love any recipe where I can use found ingredients and skip a trip to the store.

While making it, I worried that the boys (age 15 and 11) wouldn’t like this and find it too spicy. But in fact, they loved it. I did cut back on the amount of harissa paste I used, because I knew that might put them off, but the spice didn’t bother them and they emptied their bowls pretty quickly.

Ottolenghi seems to be a big fan of caraway in this book, so it’s a good thing I stocked up the last time I was out shopping, because he used it in this recipe too. But it really adds something to the soup and it’s not something I would have thought to add myself.

Not pictured: The feta paste on the top. It was lovely– I never pass up an opportunity to have feta– but if you’re vegan, you could skip adding that and the soup is still good. Ottolenghi says the paste, “elevates a midweek supper into something special,” and while that may be true, it’s not essential.

Highly recommended for Meat Free Monday on a cold winter night.

If you would like to make this yourself, click through this link to find the recipe on 101 Cookbooks (you have to scroll past several unrelated photos, but it’s there, down at the bottom).

“Spicy Chickpea and Bulgar Soup” from “Plenty More”