Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Kitchen Series- Syrian Salads and recipe link up | part one

Welcome to another The Kitchen Series today. There's been a lot happening at home. My tribe have been busy reading books in the sunshine, playing in the sandpit, crawling everywhere it seems {and I mean Little fox not I}, cooking and getting crafty the past couple of days. I've been getting my groove on sewing up some custom order Sunday pinnies, taking lots of photos of Miss Three in them and enjoying the colour and texture of the dresses. When I'm not sewing, or chasing after the kids I've got my nose in a book, attempting to reorganise the veggie garden, trying to steal a moment with Ads or I'm in the kitchen trying out a recipe or cooking up a storm. We've been enjoying cold salads, BBQ, homemade vanilla custard, green/fruit smoothies and baked banana bread of late {you can read all about The Kitchen Series here}. We were gifted a big bag of homegrown broad beans from a friend, I'm planning on doing a smashed broad bean, pea and mint bruschetta starter Wednesday night along with fresh pasta or broad bean and haloumi fritters as the weather cools again.  

Today, I'm sharing two great recipes from Sharon Salloum's book Almond Bar, it found it's way into my library book bag when we were getting books for the kids and I haven't been able to put it down. I'm writing this, while watching Miss three in a pool out the back, as Little fox sleeps, attempting to read a recipe book in full sun because that's how we roll {taking multitasking to a new level me thinks}. Anyway, where were we.... These two Syrian dishes that I tried last week are perfect for a hot summer's day. It's easy to do while juggling a hundred other things, it uses seasonal produce and can be altered for little ones easily {I thought a lot about how l would change things up too using what l had in the pantry}. You know you're onto a winner when your family come back for seconds {the kids included} and Ads tells others how good it was.  I've been really interested in trying different recipes and the Almond Bar is a great recipe book full of yummy recipes that l am dying to try. These salads are reminiscent of our days back backing around Turkey in our 20's especially on our boat cruise from Fethiye to Olympos, this Burghul salad is very close to what we ate, which was a great surprise.

Falatet smid- Burghul Salad | recipe one 


4 cups (320g) of coarse Burghul 
1/4 green cabbage, leaves separated
2 tomatoes, finely diced
large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup (70g) of tomato paste 
3 spring onions, chopped
3 tsp of salt flakes, or to taste
1/2 tsp of dried chili flakes
1/4 cup (60 ml) of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) of lemon juice
10 iceberg lettuce leaves

How to make in normal

  1. Soak the burghul in a bowl of cold water for about 2-3 hours. I did this in the afternoon while we were having a crafternoon and just left it to do it's thing. When it's done, just drain and set aside.
  2. Half fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Add cabbage leaves and cook for about 1 minuter or until softened enough to fold easily. Remove from the water and leave to cool in a colander.
  3. Combine the burghul, tomato, parsley, tomato paste and spring onions, salt, chili flakes (you can put these on the side and serve individually if making for kids too, that way it's not to spicy), olive oil and lemon juice in a big bowl and give it a stir. Taste and then add more salt or lemon juice if needed. Use the lettuce and cabbage leaves to scoop up the salad.

Recipe Notes

You can use this as a side to a meat dish, with shredded BBQ chicken. You don't have to use the lettuce leaves but it's tastes great when it's wrapped in a lettuce parcel. You can use a tomato chutney if you don't have a tomato puree/paste handy. I did this and it was really tasty. You could also try using a onion jam along with the tomato paste too. Here's another recipe worth a try Burghul Salad with Chickpeas, Caramelized Onion, Feta and Tarragon

Fatoush | recipe two

I made this salad with the falatet emid salad with a couple of soft boiled eggs for our main meal. It was a great way to finish a day spent outdoors.


2 Lebanese cucumbers
2 tomatoes
5 radishes
1/2 red capsicum (pepper)
1/2 green capsicum (pepper)
4 iceberg leaves (or a handful of salad greens)
large handful of purslane leaves (optional)
small handful of mint
small handful of flat-leaf parsley
3 spring onions
1 piece of Middle Eastern Bread

3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp of salt flakes
1 tsp of sweet paprika
3 tsp of ground sumac
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice

How to make in normal

  1. Wash all the vegetables and herbs and allow to dry for a good ten minutes.
  2. Cut the cucumbers length ways and remove the seeds. Then slice or dice into 1 cm pieces. Cut each tomato into eight wedges. Half each radish and then thinly slice. (we didn't have any when l made it so l add baby broad beans to the dish).  Cut the capsicum, remove the membrane and seeds and then cut into bite size pieces. 
  3. Roughly rip the lettuce leaves into bite size pieces. Roughly chop the parsley, mint and spring onions into 5mm slices. (I usually make sure the herbs are finely chopped by throwing them into the thermomix along with the spring onions on speed 4/5 seconds)
  4. To make the dressing, place all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and mix. (I like to throw these into the thermomix and blend on speed 4/5-10 seconds till well combined saving a bowl to wash).
  5. Toast the Middle Eastern bread either as a whole piece of in bite size pieces in a preheated 180 degree, fan forced oven until golden brown. Alternatively using a small frypan and a little olive oil, throw bite size pieces over a medium heat until they are toasted and have taken on a golden and crisp texture (I find this the easier way to do it).
  6. Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl, mixing in the bread pieces and pouring the dressing over the salad. Toss the salad a few times to make sure that it all gets an even coating of salad dressing. Serve immediately to avoid soggy bread.

Recipe Notes

The recipe calls for purslane leaves and radishes in the salad, I didn't have any handy and that was OK. I left them out and added blanched broad beans without the skin. It gave it a great texture and colour to the salad. Also my little ones aren't keen on the peppery taste of radishes so we often don't use a lot unless we add them later on. Other additions could be  blanched broccoli, toasted almonds, feta or boiled eggs quartered. Felafel's and hummus dip for a starter and then this salad would be a great meal for a family. Seriously it's so easy and you can use a good organic sour dough like l did for the bread in the salad I just made sure that l got a crust on the bread pieces for the salad. 

It's a balmy 30 degrees today so l am heading outside now, without the computer, a cold glass of something and enjoying some rays before l begin cutting a quilt. How about becoming a member of the blog or leaving a comment sharing a recipe you are fond of. Past recipes from the Kitchen Series can be found here. There is also a linky below for you to link up your  recipe blog posts and share the foodie love. We'd love to hear from you {really, really!!}, now as you were.
x Mummafox

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