Diet Diaries: Lucy's Kitchen goes all Middle Eastern

iGod knows I could do with some inspiration - and these are inspiring! This time she's treating us to a selection of delish Middle Eastern delights. All three recipes work equally well alone, or can be prepared together as part of a traditional "mezza". Thank you Lucy!
Tabbouleh (Parsley Salad)

3 large bunches of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (don’t use the curly leaf as it gives very different flavour)
1/2 bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
4 green onions with green ends finely chopped
3 large tomatoes, cut into very small pieces
2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tbl burgur
3/4 tsp black pepper 1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil

Place the parsley in a large mixing bowl. Rinse the burgur and drain, then squeeze out all the excess water and put it on top of the parsley. Then add the tomatoes, green onions, and the mint. Put in fridge min ½ hour so that flavours combine and then just before serving, add the salt, black pepper, lemon juice, olive oil over the parsley salad and toss very well. Add more lemon juice or salt to taste.

Fattoush (Toasted Bread Salad)
Yield: 4-6 servings

2 teaspoons minced garlic 6 leaves romaine lettuce, torn into 1 inch pieces
1 diced cucumber 2 diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced green onions 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/2 cup chickpeas (optional) 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup lemon juice 3/4 cup olive oil
1 flatbread

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, mint, lemon juice, and olive oil. Let stand for 1/2 hour. Toast the bread in a 350 oven for 5 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crispy. Break the toasted bread into 1 inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine the bread, romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, bell pepper, and chickpeas. Drizzle the dressing mixture over the salad, toss it together, and serve at once.


Hummus bil Tahina

3 cups chickpeas 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 cup tahini (sesame butter) 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cold water 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 3 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon paprika 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Purée the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor, add the tahini, lemon juice, cold water, salt, and cayenne pepper; purée another minute or two until the mixture is very smooth. To serve: place the hummus on a plate, draw a swirly indentation from the center of the hummus to the outer edges and dribble the olive oil along the swirl. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley across the hummus. Serve with Arabic flatbread or pita.


Related Articles

More from Life