This is one of the great salads that I’m loving at the moment. They take a bit longer than your average chop and go salad to prepare but are bursting with flavour and if you make a huge batch, you can eat it for dinner and keep leftovers in the fridge for lunch or for other meals. Simply add the protein of your choice. Try blistered slices of haloumi, fried mackerel fillets, chicken, lamb kebabs or a poached egg.
This salad was inspired by this recipe from 101cookbooks, in all honesty, I took a cursory glance at the ingredients and went by the picture more than anything, so my version is below. Bursting with colour, sweet roasted cherry tomatoes and slow cooked red onions go beautifully with the nutty bulghar wheat spiked with loads of fresh herbs, a little garlic and a handful of spinach (I have a sneaky suspicion that toasted pine nuts or almonds would be a fabulously crunchy addition). A perfect accompaniment to a mezze type affair, try a simple carrot salad, some hummus and flatbreads.
250g cherry tomatoes
juice 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic
3 handfuls spinach
1 bunch mint
1 bunch parsley
3 red onions, finley sliced
2tsp brown sugar
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
- First up the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the tomatoes in half and throw onto a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive, season with crunchy flakes of sea salt, a twist of black pepper and a pinch of brown sugar. Stir well, making sure all the tomatoes are cut side up and roast for 40mins until shrivelled and golden.
- Meanwhile pour the bulghar wheat into a saucepan that has a lid with 1/2tsp of bouillon if you have it or a pinch of salt. Cover with boiling water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed and the bulghar is tender but still with some bite. (you may need to add a little extra water or drain any excess off.
- Heat a large frying pan with 2tbsp olive oil, add the onions and cook on low until completely soft. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar and plenty of seasoning and cook for another 5mins or so until dark, sweet and sticky.
- To assemble the salad, squeeze the lemon juice over the bulghar and add 2-3tbsp olive oil, the garlic and most of the mint and parsley. Stir well and season to taste.
- Fold in the spinach and tumble onto a large serving platter. Top with roasted tomatoes, onions and the rest of the herbs.