I've recently been given a copy of Chelsea Winter's new cookbook 'Eat'. It is full of great recipes - most of them easy to make, and easy to tweak (to suit more simple tastes, or tarted up for an occasion). Adaptability, my cup of tea.
It's the festive season which, in the Antipodes, means BBQs and pre-Christmas gatherings. We were invited to a pre-Christmas dinner over the weekend, for which we were asked to bring a salad. I have a couple of good go-to salads (this kumara one is a goodie!!), but felt like I needed to try something new. This Mediterranean-inspired one was perfect - light, but filling, and extremely tasty (even more so the next day!). I changed a few things, to suit what I had in the fridge, and that's the beauty of a salad.
Happy summer, buon appetito!!
400 g cherry tomatoes (just shy of two little punnets)
1 bulb garlic, not peeled or separated
2 tsp dry oregano
1/2 cup pinenuts, toasted
1 cup bulghur wheat (or quinoa would work well)
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (I used basil, mint, thyme and chives)
150 g feta, in small chunks (I used a basil reduced salt one, but up to you)
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthways and sliced
1 capsicum, chopped into 1 cm pieces
NB: Chelsea used olives rather than zucchini and capsicum - up to your tastes
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dry dill (I used tarragon)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
- Heat oven to 180 fan-bake. Put garlic bulb on roasting try and drizzle with oil and sprinkle with dried oregano. I kept the cherry tomatoes raw, but you could roast them too, if you liked (drizzle and sprinkle them too, plus a little sugar). Either way, slice them up (halves for roasting, quarters for raw). Toast for about 30 minutes.
- Toast pine nuts in a dry pan. They take a while to get going, but keep them moving 'cause once they start to toast they will burn really quickly. I like to do a large batch and keep the excess in a jar once they're cooled down (save having to do the toasting each time you want to use toasted pine nuts).
- Put bulghur and zucchini into a large glass or ceramic bowl and cover with about 3 cups of water. Stir then leave for a good ten-fifteen minutes to soak. When it's ready the wheat should be a little soft but with a nice firm bite to it (not soggy). Pour into a sieve to drain.
- Put all dressing ingredients into a glass jug, or a medium bowl. Cut base off the roasted garlic bulb and squeeze garlic cloves into the dressing mix (they'll be soft). Mash up and stir to combine.
- Combine everything together in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with dressing and top with feta.