Puttanesca tabbouleh

This recipe is pretty low-key, but I just wanted to demonstrate the weird and wonderful dishes you can come up with when you just throw a bunch of ingredients in a bowl and see what happens. A good number of my recipes were invented on the hoof, my particular favourite being lentil curry with noodles AKA noo-dal. When I invented this salad, I needed an all-in-one carby veggie side dish to go with a quiche I was making (the recipe for which will follow in a couple of days). I came up with this and was really happy with the result. It’s tasty and tangy without dominating the plate.

A quick note on the recipe: It’s not a typo, I really do measure grains by volume in a measuring jug rather than by weighing it out, it’s so much easier.

Recipe (serves 2-3 as a side dish):

  • 100ml quinoa
  • 100ml bulgur wheat
  • 300ml boiling water
  • ½ ts salt
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • Approx. 12 black olives, sliced
  • 1 tb capers, finely chopped
  • 1 tb lemon juice
  • 1 tb basil, finely chopped

Put the quinoa and bulgur wheat in a small saucepan over a hot heat. Allow to toast for a few seconds. Add the boiling water and salt, stir, bring to the boil and stir again. Boil for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat right down and cover the pan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. The grains should be tender, and tiny white spirals will have started to pop out of the quinoa. Leave to cool.

Tip the cooled grains into a big bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well with a spoon or spatula and serve.


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