Tabbouleh with Spelt Flatbread
Do not underestimate tabbouleh! I'm saying this as much to myself as to you. Having said that, do not over-estimate the difficulty rating of tasty flatbread (it's easy peasy, WHOOP!). Together they make for a very satisfying (and substantial) meal.
I tried making this middle eastern salad and wasn't overly fussed, but I didn't give it the love it deserves. That's not to say it's complicated, quite the opposite but one should approach food preparation and cooking with a certain level of enthusiasm and ambition IMHO. In the case of me and tabbouleh, I completely underestimated its potential.
Well, no more...
I adore all the taste components, most are flavours I use on a regular basis, therefore, I was determined to get it right and did myself a bit of research. Fuelled with tips from one of my heroes, Ottolenghi, I gave it another shot and I'm very proud to share my recipe, sorry for the bragging, but it's so damn yummy. Teamed with simple spelt flatbread this is a winning meal bursting with great flavour and goodness.
Tabbouleh with Spelt Flatbread
PREP/COOK TIME - 20 MINS | DIFFICULTY RATING - EASY | SERVES - 2 | RECIPE TYPE - LUNCH/DINNER
- 1 large bunch of coriander (approx 100g)
- 1 large bunch of mint (approx 100g)
- 1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley (approx 100g)
- 1 finely diced large red onion
- 1 pomegranate deseeded
- 1 cucumber cut lengthways, desseded and cut into 1cm chunks
- 8-12 cherry or plum tomatoes quartered
- 4 tbps extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Handful of crushed an some whole pistachios
Ingredients - Flatbread
- 4tbsp spelt flour
- 3 tbsp plain yogurt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- A tiny pinch of salt
- First prepare the dough, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon, once the dough is coming together use your hands until the bowl is more or less clean then set aside.
- Cook the bulgur wheat according to the packet instructions. Takes about 12 mins.
- Finely chop the herbs, remove any particularly large stalks.
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and dress with olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning.
- Top with pistachios.
- To make the flatbread, separate the dough into 4 balls. Roll out each ball to the size of a pitta bread, using lots of flour on the work surface and rolling pin. Dry fry in a hot non-stick pan for no more than 1.5 mins either side or until bubbles are visible on the top.
- Serve immediately while the flatbread is still warm.
My notes and tips
Pomegranate is messy, I'm no way going to try telling you they're not, if you really can't be doing with the mess (and to save a little time) most supermarkets to little tubs of the seeds, ready to use. Otherwise if you do tackle the whole fruit then try to collect the juice as you remove the seeds, all adds to the flavour.
I cannot claim credit for this first tip, I picked it up when reading Ottolenghi's tabbouleh recipe and it's to make sure you chop the herbs by hand with a good knife, as he explains it can be a little laborious but a little perseverance and you'll manage. It really ensures the right texture for the herbs and it reduces unwanted moisture. I'll happily use a mini blender/chopper for herbs in lots of my recipes but this is an example where I make the effort with my chopping skills - it's worth it. Practice makes perfect people. ;-)
Notes and tips cont'd
You might notice my bulgur grains are quite large, I use coarse bulgur wheat, just a personal preference, traditionally a tabbouleh would contain the finer grains, it's your choice.
Do not be anxious about the flatbread, it really is as simple as described. If you're very unfamiliar with bread making or dough in fact (I absolutely am at the point of writing this blog) I can only advise to give it a go, you will master it. I found my dough was a little wet the first time I made it so I merely added it a sprinkle more flour and it turned out perfectly. As a point of reference, it needs to be dry enough not to stick to the rolling pin but wet enough to hold a shape similar to an averagely sized pitta.
If spelt ain't your thing you can substitute for wholemeal flour or even white self raising, in which case ditch the baking powder.
My flatbread recipe is inspired by and adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe from his latest book , 5 Ingredients - Quick & Easy Food.
This is the first bread I've ever made, I realise it's not exactly a loaf, but it's wet my appetite.
Bread is something I can't give up (I just don't want to), but I don't feel overly comfortable with most shop-bought varieties, more bread will be coming soon. In the meantime hit me up with your bread-making tips and ideas - I need the inspiration. Thanks. x