Official first day of Spring 2017

While waiting to start cultivating our own coriander we love to eat the food of the Middle East and use parsley instead of the delicious coriander (which is not the same, but…).

The books of Ottolenghi and Tamimi, especially ‘Jeruzalem’ remain a wonderful source of inspiration. Today: a mixture of some salads with an open kibbeh based on layers of bulgur, meat and spices and tahina (sesame paste) sauce.

For 2p prepare 120 grams of bulgur with 2 dl of boiled water and some salt. Leave for 30 mins. Fry 1 chopped red onion, 2 gloves of garlic and a spicy little pepper. Add 200 grams of minced meat (I always prefer chicken, but the traditional recipe contains lamb), 1 table spoon of baharat (herb mixture, other name is raz-el-hanout). Add pepper and salt.

Take a  small spring form and cover with baking paper. First make a layer of the bulgur, then a layer of the fried meat. Bake in the oven at 180° for 20 mins. Prepare the tahina sauce by mixing 2 table spoons of tahina and 1 table spoon of lemon juice. Add salt and some water (until you get a thick and spreadable sauce). Remove the kibbeh from the oven. Spread the sauce, and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of pine nuts above. Put back in the oven until the nuts are yellow-brown.

Before serving, cover with fresh parsley (or coriander),  sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sumak and remove from the spring form. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Prepare the salads during baking time. Chop a small red onion in thin slices. Add 4 chopped dates. Mix with 1 table spoon of sherry vinegar (balsamico or red wine vinegar). This combination softens the strong taste of the onion. Bake some old bread (pita or normal, 1 slice for 2p) in some olive oil. Mix the onion-dates-vinegar mixture with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 table soon of lemon juice, the bread and 150 grams of baby spinach.

For the other salad chop 1 red sweet pepper, 1 small cucumber (remove the seeds), 1 bunch of radishes, 1 spring onion. Bake chickpeas (1 can for 2p) with 1 teaspoon of cumin in olive oil. Make a little dressing with the zeste and juice of ½ lemon, 2 spoons of olive oil, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 spoon of sherry vinegar, a pinch of sugar, pepper and salt (!!!taste). Mix the chopped vegetables with the warm chickpeas and fresley chopped herbs (mix of parsley, coriander).

Serve the kibbeh with the two salads and some Greek yoghurt (seasoned with pepper, salt and sumak).

What a great small buffet! Leftovers will still taste great the next day.


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