I remember the first bite André took out of the first couscous salad I ever made. I looked at him longing, and asked nervously: “So, do you like it? Shall I do it again?”. André took another bite and timidly said “Yeah… I mean you can keep doing these healthy dishes and I´ll do the ones we actually love, like fajitas and stuff”. I´m laughing now, but I was pretty upset then. And yet, I repeated the couscous and it rapidly became André´s favourite dish of mine. Growing confident, one day I thought I´d use the bulgur wheat tabouleh we´ve had in our drawer for a year and make a dish out of it. I looked for some inspiration online, and decided upon a tabouleh with chickpeas, cucumber, feta cheese and mint. I altered the recipe, as I usually do, and what came out was a delicious mediterranean-like salad that André actually liked, had it not been for the za´atar, a spice he doesn´t fancy as it turns out. So for this #homemadeMonday, I present to you a great recipe for when you want a light dish to detox after the winter holidays, or one to take to the beach with you on hot summer days.
(serves five to six)
150 g of bulgur wheat tabouleh
550 g of canned chickpeas ( a big can that weighs 850 g should yield 550 g of chickpeas)
half a lemon
a branch of mint leaves
150 g of feta (I cannot stress enough how you NEED to buy the good DOP feta, always!)
3 tbs olive oil
za´atar for seasoning (optional)
1. Put the tabouleh in a heat-proof bowl (or pot) and add 200ml of boiling water. Cover it and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Once done, season it with olive oil and let it cool.
2. Drain the chickpeas and let them dry a bit while you cut the cucumber and feta into small pieces. Chop the mint.
3. Mix the tabouleh with the chickpeas, cucumber and feta cheese, and taste to see if it needs more za´atar. Note: The one I usually buy comes with plenty of za´atar so I can skip the seasoning.
4. Finally add the mint. If you´re not a big mint fan outside of your mojito, like André isn´t, I suggest replacing it with dill (I used dill for this edition). Also, if you´re serving this in winter, you might want to leave out the mint and not leave the tabouleh cool. Instead, mix it with the veggies and feta as soon as it´s absorbed all the water so that you can serve it warm-ish.