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09.04.2016

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A seriously scrumptious salad, almost a meal in itself, with bulgur (cracked) wheat, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), almonds, red pepper, sultanas and orange. It’s super filling of course, and the dressing is to-die-for with its aromas of orange, cinnamon, cumin, honey and mustard. Please please try it.

I’m really excited about this recipe. First of all, it’s a whopper of a salad. It really is amazing. I’m sure you’re imaging those flavours I just described, and maybe your stomach is responding with a couple of rumbles? Well it should. This baby is one of my favourites. I love bulgur wheat in salads because it’s filling and tasty, especially after it’s had time to sit in the dressing for a while to soak up all the deliciousness. The sultanas do the same, their sweetness complemented by the fragrant spices and their shrivelled bodies filled with the wonderfully aromatic juices. The chickpeas give it an extra nutritional boost, not that it needs one, and make it filling enough to have on its own for lunch or a light dinner. The ingredient list might seem long, but every single item is worth using, as they all offer their own, unique thing to the end result.

There is however another reason I’m excited today. The video. Isn’t it fab? What a great project. I teamed up with the supermarket chain AB Vassilopoulos, one of my favourites, and created this recipe for their fortnightly leaflet and for this lovely video, which is being shared on social media (you can like/share it on Facebook by clicking here). What a fun experience!

Ingredients

250 gr bulgur (cracked) wheat
1/2 lemon, juice of
200 gr chickpeas, cooked or tinned
1 red pepper, diced
2 spring onions, chopped
4 Tbs parsley, finely chopped
100 gr sultanas
130 gr almonds, whole, blanched
1 orange, cut into medium sized pieces

For the dressing
80 ml olive oil
80 ml orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs mustard (Dijon type)
2 tsp cumin, powdered
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Step 1

Soak the bulgur wheat in plenty of water (cold tap temperature) adding the juice of half a lemon. Stir and leave for at least 3 hours (if leaving overnight put the bowl in the fridge).

Step 2

Drain the bulgur in a fine mesh sieve (lined with a muslin cloth if necessary) squeezing out excess water with your hands till dry. Put the wheat in a large bowl and add the chickpeas, red pepper, spring onion, parsley and sultanas.

Step 3

Put the almonds in a small non-stick frying pan and heat over high stirring occasionally. When they start getting black spots turn the heat off but leave the pan on the stove to continue toasting them for a while. Don’t walk away as they burn quickly. Roughly chop the almonds and add to the salad. Mix well.

Step 4

Add the olive oil, orange and lemon juice, honey, mustard, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper to a large clean jar. Close the lid and shake till smooth. Measure ¾ cup of the dressing and pour over the salad. Toss well. Add the orange pieces and toss again gently.

Notes: This salad is even better after having sat for a while. You can add half the dressing, let it sit, and just before serving add the rest of the dressing. Leftover dressing can be kept in the fridge for a few days. FYI it goes perfectly with beets as well.

You can easily make this vegan, by replacing the honey with agave syrup or any other appropriate sweetener.

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