Burghul, Walnut and Yoghurt Salad with Pomegranate

There is a Lebanese dish, sometimes called Mafrouket Laban (not to be confused with the dessert of the same name), made from burghul (aka Bulgur) and yoghurt with plenty of herbs. It is a delight in Summer. Because the burghul is soaked, it is the sort of dish you begin in the morning, and leave for 4 or 5 hours, then mix in the remaining ingredients and serve for lunch or dinner.

The burghul soaks in the yoghurt for a few hours to form the base of the salad. It is often served with tender young vine leaves, so it is a perfect dish for Spring and Early Summer. With all that yoghurt, it is a cooling dish, perfect for the first heat waves that we encounter in Spring as it warms up towards Summer.

Use the coarse burghul for this dish if you can (otherwise, medium will be fine).

Similar recipes include Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts, Cracked Wheat Kitchari, and Cauliflower, Mung and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Burghul dishes and all of our Salad recipes.  Our Lebanese dishes are here. Or browse all of our Early Summer recipes.

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A Collection of 30 Salads for Mid Autumn

Mid Autumn is that last hurrah to Summer, at least here in Adelaide. We have the last of the warm weather, nights are cooler and mornings bordering on cold. Days can be warm and sunny, but April rains are also expected. Farmers turn hopeful eyes skyward, keen to ensure the seeding efforts won’t go to waste.

Early on in this month, we find ourselves eating lots of tomato salads, almost as though we are desperate to hang onto the warm weather, and onto the tomatoes which are always best after the intense heat of Summer has gone and the gentler days of Autumn arrive. French style, Italian style, Greek style, Persian style, we don’t really mind, as long as the salads are simple and the tomatoes delicious. We recommend you do the same. Simple lunches can be a bowl of salad, some flatbread, perhaps some cheese, followed by slices of fresh fruit.

The fig season is over, and okra is off the menu until the new crop comes in – not long now. Meanwhile, beautiful vegetables and fruits are appearing in the shops – daikon, cauliflower, pears, oranges, new carrots, such beautiful beetroot, juicy radishes. All ready for delicious salads. Lentils and Dried Beans begin to make an appearance later in the month as we look for more substance in our salads to counteract the cold weather.

Here are 30 of our best salads for Mid Autumn.

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Chakkotha Salad | Pomelo Salad

Pomelo comes in light yellow flesh, rather like a lemon or grapefruit, and a pink fleshed variety. I was surprised recently that when I peeled a Pomelo, it revealed beautiful salmon pink flesh. Rather gorgeous, like a ruby grapefruit.

This salad has its  genesis in an Indian salad, which, I hear, is traditionally smoked using food-safe charcoal and oil. Use your smoke gun if you have one (I don’t), but it is gorgeous even without that.

Similar recipes include Pomelo and Green Mango Salad, and Pomelo and Avocado Salad.

Browse all of our Pomelo recipes, and all of our Salads. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Late Spring dishes.

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Chakkotha Chaat | Herby, Spicy Pomelo Snack

Pomelo is quite underused in this country, although our S.E. Asian and Indian neighbours use it quite freely. You can find large pomelo easily in Asian supermarkets, and although they take just a little work to separate edible grapefruit-like pears from the humungously thick skin, every effort is worth it.

This recipe mixes the beautiful, pearly flesh with cooling summer ingredients and some spices. It is topped with crunchy Indian chaat toppings. Pomelo is known under many different names in India and is sometimes called grapefruit, but it is different to the more sour grapefruit variety of citrus fruit.

Pomelo really is the grandfather of citrus fruit! It pairs well with chillies, and with herbs like cilantro, mint, and basil. Tropical fruits go well too – pineapple, pawpaw, coconut raw mango and sweet mango. Try it with Spring vegetables, such as carrots, radishes, and onions. It is wonderful in pasta dishes! And is delicious in salads of all kinds as well as in sorbet. And if you can’t bear to waste any part of the fruit, try candying or making marmalade with the  rind.

Be warned, this particular dish is a spicy and tangy snack. Superb! A riot of flavours.

Similar recipes include Indian Pomelo Salad, Pomelo and Carrot Salad, Pomelo and Avocado Salad, and Pomelo, Green Mango and Pea Eggplant Salad.

Browse all of our Pomelo recipes, and all of our Chaat. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Late Spring dishes.

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Pan Fried Broad Bean Salad with Spring Onions and Yoghurt

Broad Beans with yoghurt is a common dish in the countries of the Middle East, and this simple recipe makes a nice salad – or eat with flatbread for a snack, light lunch or part of a mezze spread.

The taste of the beans – lightly green – against the yoghurt is beautiful. Fennel herb is a classic pairing with broad beans, although in the Middle East dill is probably more common. Use either herb.

Similar dishes include Broad Bean Salad with Asparagus, Olives and Black Garlic, Salad of Broad Beans, Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, and Pan Fried Broad Beans with Chilli and Lime.

Browse all of our Broad Bean Salads and all of our Broad Bean recipes. All of our Salads are here and our Middle Eastern dishes here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Chopped Salad

A chopped salad is surely the easiest way to make a truly delicious salad – take one food processor and you have a chopped salad in under 5 minutes. Because a chopped salad doesn’t really have a recipe, there is no angst about having the right ingredients. Simply dive into the fridge and make a salad from whatever crunchy fresh vegetables you have. This way it is also very seasonal. You can even dress it with your favourite vinaigrette.

It is the sort of salad that you can make enough of to eat as dinner! Healthy. Satisfying. Delicious.

Similar recipes include 30 Salads for Early Spring, Carrot and Cashew Salad, and Beetroot with Black Pepper.

Browse all of our Chopped Salads and all of our many Salads. Or simple explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Freekeh Salad with Broad Beans

When Ottolenghi says mix some Broad Beans with Freekeh, you say Ok. It just happened that I had a focus on both Broad Bean dishes (as they are growing in the garden as I write) and on Freekeh (as I got some awesome freekeh from my local Afghan market). Here they come together in true Ottolenghi style. This really is a great Spring dish.

It is said that Ottolenghi created this dish for Red Online.

Similar recipes include: Broad Bean Salad with Spring Onions, Chopped Salad, Cypriot Grain Salad, Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, and Broad Beans with Feta and Preserved Lemon.

Browse all of our Freekeh recipes, and our many many Salads. All of Ottolenghi dishes are here. Or take some time to browse our Mid Spring dishes.

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Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

How extraordinary noodles are, and oh! What a variety! Think Japanese noodles, Chinese Noodles, Italian Noodles (pasta), Indian noodles (lots of them using interesting flours), noodles from Eastern Europe, and I guess there are many more around the world. Soba noodles are Japanese, and they make delightful cold dishes as well as hot. In Summer, cold Soba noodle dishes are almost like salads.

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one day per month where we publish  recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely.

Ottolenghi has the occasional noodle dish, and our current focus on his books brought us to this recipe in his book Plenty. It brings together mango and charred eggplant in a way that makes it seem way out there, but is perfectly balanced. It is such a surprising combination of flavours and that makes this a memorable dish from the first bite – sweet from the mango and savoury from the eggplant. It is a beautiful noodle for hot summer nights or for a simple weeknight dinner any night of the year. The leftovers only get better in the refrigerator, so Yotham highly recommends making enough for lunch leftovers.

This recipe calls for a lot of oil in which to fry the eggplant (from 220 – 300 ml in different versions Yotham has printed). But the frying turns the eggplant soft and silky, and almost meaty, if a vegetarian can say that. Follow your heart, but I do recommend frying in the amount of oil that he suggests.

Similar recipes include Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes and all of our Eggplant dishes. Our Ottoleghi recipes from Plenty are here. Or explore our dishes for Late Summer.

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Sprouts Usal

Sprouts must be one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and so easy to make at home. You can sprout any whole lentil from your Indian shop and most from your supermarket – also some spices like fenugreek which makes lovely sprouts.

The sprouts are added to oil and spices, and are quickly tossed. Then water is added and the sprouts are left to steam until soft. This is quite different to the Chinese/Asian treatment of sprouts, which is to stirfry them. It is a reflection of the different style of sprouts used in the two areas. In India, sprouts are short, barely 1 cm long. Lentils and beans are sprouted until the tiny sprout has shown its face, and then they are cooked. In Chinese cuisines, the sprouts are left to grow until 5 or 6 cm long to add crunchy, fresh, textural elements to a dish.

In India, there is a difference between Usal and Misal dishes – sometimes the two dishes are confused. Usal is a spiced sprouts dish made with one or more sprouted lentils and beans. Traditionally Usal is made with sprouts of moth beans (matki). Usal can be eaten as is, or Misal is made. For Misal, the cooked sprouts are immersed in a spicy thin gravy and topped with farsan, sev, onion, coriander and lemon wedges. Both Misal and Usal can be eaten with Pav – Indian bread buns.

Usually people mix elements of both dishes, according to their taste and preferences – here the Usal is topped with coriander, coconut, onion and lemon.

The book Tiffin by Srinivas is not only a terrific read, it has many recipes are full flavoured and perfectly balanced. This recipe is one for a mix of sprouts, cooked over low heat with spices.  Delicious.

Similar recipes include Masoor Sprouts Rice, Pudla with Mung Sprouts, and Sprouts Sundal.

Browse all of our Sprouts recipes and all of our Usal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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A Collection of 30 Salads for Early Spring

Early Spring sees the arrival of Spring rains and windy weather. While the beginning of Spring can still be cold, there are also glorious sunny days with mild temperatures. Gardens begin to bring a bounty of colour. And Spring vegetables arrive – greens, peas, broad beans, asparagus – all delicious.

Salads still have some substance for the cooler days, but begin to get lighter. Grains are there but fresh Spring produce creeps in. Light salads might appear on the table. Certainly salads are more common than during the depths of Winter.

Check out some of our other collections:

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