Tuesday 1 November 2011

Winter Tabbouleh with Roasted Vegetables

I've always loved making tabbouleh as it's such a quick and easy salad. You may have seen the recipe I posted over the summer - with my own special ingredient!  Now that this year's tomatoes and cucumbers are coming to an end, I've been looking for ideas to make a winter version.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do! 

The basic ingredients are just like any tabbouleh i.e. bulghur wheat with a mint, parsley and lemon dressing.  To me, colour is just as important as flavour.  It's got to look good as well as taste good which is why I chose a home grown butternut squash and some freshly picked green rocket and added bright red and yellow peppers and a red onion too.  Other roasted vegetables such as aubergines or courgettes could be used instead and baby spinach leaves used in place of rocket.

Ingredients                                     Serves 4 - 6 

125g bulghur wheat
1 butternut squash
2 peppers (red and yellow)
1 red onion
A generous handful of fresh rocket
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra oil for roasting
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper


First put the bulghur wheat in a bowl, pour over plenty of boiling water and leave to soak for about 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.

Peel the butternut squash, then cut in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.   Cut into pieces approximately ½" (1 cm) square and place in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper. 

Mix well,  then transfer to a large baking tray.

Slice the peppers and mix in a bowl with olive oil and seasoning as before, then  spread out on the baking tray alongside the squash (or on a separate tray). 

Repeat with the red onion, then place on a separate baking tray.

Now roast the vegetables in the oven until tender, turning occasionally to ensure they are evenly cooked.  The onions and peppers will probably take about 20 to 25 minutes whilst the butternut squash will need longer, usually 35 to 40 minutes.  The vegetables should be tender but not brown and crispy.

Meanwhile make your dressing by whisking together the olive oil and lemon juice in a large bowl. Then add the finely chopped parsley and mint and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. 

Drain the bulghur wheat through a sieve and press with the back of a large spoon to remove excess water.

When your bulghur wheat has drained thoroughly, place in a large bowl and stir in the dressing.   Add the roasted vegetables and mix together gently.  Check seasoning. 

Finally, just before serving,  tear up the rocket leaves and stir into the salad.

This salad can be made well in advance. I often soak the bulghur wheat,  add the dressing, then leave in the fridge till needed.  I think the flavour improves with keeping and then you can roast your vegetables sometime when you've got the oven on.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again, Rhona, for the wonderful recipe!
    I even tried your advice and made the bulgur a day early. To me, the taste of bulgur always seems, well, neutral. But mixing it with the dressing and letting it soak improves that tremendously!
    Keep going! I'm trying out nearly every of your suggestions. One day I will even try your cakes....
    All the best from the continent,