Armenian Ich or Eech Salad.

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I mentioned in my last post there will be recipes that give you parsley teeth. This is one of those recipes.

My husband calls this one ‘Armenian Sang Choy Bow’ because its best enjoyed in a lettuce parcel. I call it ‘Reverse Tabouli’ because its a little bit of parsley and a whole lot of bulgur. The actual name for this traditional Armenian salad is Ich. Or Eech Salad. Or just get in my mouth salad.

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Its gloriously delicious, and its one of those salads that gets better with time. Make it and leave it overnight and see how gorgeous it is the next day. Possibly (if there is any left) even better on day 2.

Be sure to use the finest bulgur you can buy. And if you really want to be adventurous, you could even substitute it for quinoa, cous cous or any other fine grain. The main flavour here though is the combination of the pastes, lemon and the fresh herbs.

  • 1 – 1 ½ cups fine bulgur ( #1)
  • Hot water – enough to cover bulgur in a bowl
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons pepper paste
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dry mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lemons
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • ½ cup green onions/shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes finely diced

Place the bulgur in a large bowl and cover it with hot water. Leave for 30 seconds then drain well. Add all the ingredients and stir well. Cover with glad wrap and place it in the fridge for at least an hour for all the ingredients to make love. Serve and enjoy with crunchy iceberg lettuce.

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Kale Tabouli

kale tabouli

It looks like Tabouli

It smells like Tabouli,

Heck, it even tastes like Tabouli.

But this, my friends, is no ordinary tabouli! You see, it has no parsley.

So what’s that green stuff, I hear you say?

It’s kale! Glorious, raw, antioxidant-rich, superfood craze kale!

Get out of here!

I can hear all the Lebanese population ‘tsk tsk tsk’ me.

My Egyptian born mother is shaking her head in disapproval.

Can a tabouli be made without the main ingredient parsley? Why sure! Why not 

I have a glut of kale at the moment and I’ve found it to be most delicious in its raw form, uncooked and vitamin rich, combined with lemon juice, olive oil and all the other tabouli necessities like bulgur, tomatoes and cucumber, it makes for one very tasty and nutritious lunch.

A while back, I was sent the above hilarious you tube vid for a laugh. Now, every time I open the cupboard and see bulgur staring back at me, I can’t help but do a little tabouli dance.

‘Tabouli, Ta Ta Tabouli, makes me shake, shake shake my booty’

Yes, you know you want to.

Ok, it’s nearly Friday and I’m feeling silly. So grab some kale, shock the Middle Eastern population, sing a little Tabouli jingle and shake your booty.

Kale Tabouli – Serves 2 as a side dish, or one very hungry person for lunch

  • 5 stems kale
  •  2 tomatoes
  •  2 cucumbers
  •  1/3 cup fine bulgur
  •  Small bunch of fresh mint
  •  1-2 juicy lemon
  •  ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  1 small clove garlic, finely minced.
  •  Sea salt to taste

Start by placing the dried bulgur to your salad bowl. Top with lemon juice and the olive oil. Leave it aside for 10 minutes until the bulgur has completely absorbed all the lemon juice and oil. Add minced garlic and season with salt.

kale leaf

Remove stalk from kale and only use the leafy part on top.

Remove the stalks completely from the kale. You only want to use the leaves in this recipe.

kale tabouli

Finely chop the kale as small as you can get it so it resembles chopped herbs. Add it to the wet bulgur mix.

Dice tomatoes and cucumbers, and shred the mint. Add to the bowl.

Give it all a good toss, using your hands. Taste for seasoning.

Enjoy and boogie.

kale tabouli

The most incredible Caramelised Balsamic Roasted Beetroots!

The most incredible Caramelised Balsamic Roasted Beetroots

Growing up, beetroot was something only eaten out of a tinned can, usually sliced, sweet and added to hamburgers. Because in Australia, a burger ain’t a burger if it’s got no beetroot.

My caramelised balsamic roasted beetroot is a far cry from the floppy soggy tinned variety. It’s earthy, moorish and an incredible side dish to a good steak, in salads paired with goats cheese and rocket or hey, why not add it to your next burger? Once you’ve tried beets done this way, you’ll never go back.

Caramelised Balsamic roasted Beetroot with Garlic and Thyme

  • 2 large beetroots
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Method: Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Peel the skin off the beetroot using a potato peeler, chopping off the beetroot storks. I recommend you wear kitchen gloves as your fingers will turn red! Cut up the Beet into 1cm cubes. Prepare a foil pocket by placing cubed beetroot onto a piece of foil, approximately 40 cm wide that has been lined with a smaller piece of baking/parchment paper. I find if you don’t use the baking paper, the foil tends to stick to the beetroot after roasting.

The most incredible Caramelised Balsamic Roasted Beetroots

Add the thyme, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and season well with sea salt and cracked pepper. Seal your foil pocket by closing up the baking/parchment paper, then closing over the foil so that it’s a pocket. If you think the foil isn’t large enough or that the juices may spill, add another layer of foil so that it’s all air tight. Place your parcel on a roasting tray and into the oven. Roast for 1 hour 10 minutes.

The most incredible Caramelised Balsamic Roasted Beetroots

The most incredible Caramelised Balsamic Roasted Beetroots

Remove the foil pockets from the oven and be careful when opening up the pocket as there will be lots of steam released. What’s also released is the most delicious aroma that will stay with you forever and capture you every time you pass by another raw beetroot. Transfer the roasted beetroot from foil to a bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and stir. Serve warm or cold. I find if I leave it in the fridge covered for an hour or so, the flavours will intensify.

The most incredible Caramelised Balsamic Roasted Beetroots

With the addition of vinegar, this will easily keep in the fridge for over a week. That said, It’s never lasted over a day in my household. Enjoy!

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Yellow & Purple Moroccan Carrot Salad

Moroccan Carrot Salad

I remember the look my husband gave me the first time I advised we were having ‘carrot and parsley salad’ as a side meal. His look was a cross between bewilderment and ‘eww’. One mouthful later his facial expression had softened dramatically and he ended up eating the whole bowl as his main, leaving me very little.

The humble carrot, usually underrated, is the rising star in this salad. I scored some wonderful yellow and purple organic carrots from my trip to Frenchs Forest Farmers Markets on the weekend and I don’t know about you, but when I find vegetables or fruit that are locally produced, organic and fresh I just hate to cook them. Call me weird but I’d rather savour them in their original state, full of vitamins and nutrition. Don’t get me wrong, I do love roasted vegetables and include them in all sorts of winter warmers but sometimes you really do have the eat the item whole to appreciate its flavour and do it justice.

A novelty to some but carrots weren’t always orange. In fact they can come in an array of colours from purple, yellow, white to red. There are rumours about orange being the preferred because the Dutch wanted to honour William of Orange (Willy III of England) by enforcing carrots only be orange and phasing out the other varieties but the story is just that, a story.

Purple carrots in particular are gaining momentum for their milder flavour and appearance, although I must say I did prefer working with the yellow carrots over the purple purely because of the dye the purple released. It’s quite similar to beetroot and gloves are highly recommended if you’re chopping or grating by hand.

I used three large yellow carrots here and two thin purple ones. I just adore the specs of green and purple amongst the bright yellow carrots. This salad absolutely can be made with orange ‘regular’ carrots if novel varieties arn’t available.

Moroccan Carrot Salad. Serves 4

  • 5 carrots, grated
  • 1 bunch Italian parsely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Combine the garlic, cumin, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, orange juice and zest in a bowl and slowly add the olive oil while whisking until well combined. Add grated carrots and chopped parsley and toss to combine. Season if required with sea salt flakes.

Yellow and purple carrots