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.
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.
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.