Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Summer With A Vengeance

There's always a sort of turning point, season-wise (and you know I've revised History too much when I start talking about 'turning points'). One day, you're making emergency provisions and feeling daring if you go out without an umbrella in case the weather turns on you, viciously. Ohh, that swine. And then the next day, you sit peacefully in the garden to read through your work, and when you come in a few hours later, you realise you have a more than passing resemblance to a cherry tomato.

Yes, I am sunburnt. I'm not even sunburnt in a normal way: one arm is still chalky white. The other is a rhubarb-esque shade. Apparently the white one is SUN-RESISTANT, and my writing arm... well, I can't raise it anymore without the skin on my shoulder screaming obscenities at me.
This is the point in the year where I start making salady, summery food for tea and my dad gets stroppy because he feels it isn't manly enough. I suspect he would prefer cow pie, or a large slab of bright red roasted meat.

Oh hey, I actually have a slab of bright red roasted meat to hand. Someone pass me a carving knife, and he can have my right arm.

This is a really simple light meal; I ate it in the garden, mostly because it was still warm and light yesterday evening but also a little bit because my father was still looking hungry. I served the tabbouleh more or less over the charred aubergines yesterday, but once everyone had eaten I stirred the rest of the aubergines into the rest of it and it still tasted great when I had some for lunch today. I have to say that I love all the compartments of this, but it's the feta that really makes it, as fat-loaded dairy products are wont to do ^__^.

Feta tabbouleh with aubergine
Recipe from Good Food magazine, June edition
Serves 4, 395 cals per serving
Counts as 3 of 5 a day

140g bulghur wheat
2 garlic cloves, crushed (has anyone ever actually succeeded at crushing garlic? I chop mine up. Share your secrets.)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 aubergines, thinly sliced lengthways
400g can chickpeas, drained
140g pack cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion
100g feta cheese
1 large bunch mint, leaves chopped
juice 1 1/2 lemons (I just used one juicy one)

1. Cook the bulghur wheat according to pack instructions (either in a pan with however-much water, or in a bowl covered with however-much water), then drain well. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic and olive oil, then use half to brush over both sides of the aubergine strips with some seasoning. Sear the strips on a hot griddle or in a frying pan for a few minutes (aubergine ALWAYS takes me longer than it says) each side until charred and softened.

2. Tip the wheat into a large bowl with the chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, feta and mint, then pour over the remaining garlicky oil and the lemon juice. Mix and season well, then pile onto plates with the charred aubergine.

Anyone who points out my current resemblance to parts of this salad gets beaten to death with a spatula. It's not a way you want to go.


Anonymous said...

It does look just like summer! Beautiful.

Ginny said...

I drooling! Wish I had this for dinner! :)

test it comm said...

I really like the sound of this salad. I have been enjoying whole grain salads recently as well. Charred aubergines are one of my favorites and combining them with feta, bulghur and chick peas sounds good!

Sharona May said...

Looks like a great combination of flavors especially for summer. I like to eat light when it starts to get real hot in Georgia.

Sharona May

grace said...

i love all squash, and this is a gorgeous dish.

interesting tidbit: i sunburn like an albino person. (i am not an albino person.) :)

Anonymous said...


Some of us are tanning into a nice brown's fab =]




p.s. oh yeh....the recipe's pretty cool as well. My mum has some unreasonable thing against feta - could you sub other cheese in? x

Anonymous said...

You need a garlic crusher. It's a metal cage type thing with holes in the bottom, you put the garlic in the cage and squash it down with a metal hammer so the garlic if forced through the holes. Voila, crushed garlic.

Pixie said...

Indigo, this is one meal I know I would truly appreciate. Tabbouleh and eggplant sound delightful together.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Heh. Reminds me of when I was in the sixth form when a friend of mine fell asleep while 'revising' in the sun. Next to some railings. She was utterly mortified. A stripey face with arms to match is not a good look. Unlike your tabbouleh, which most definitely is.

Rosie said...

It is summer on a plate Indigo a great sounding salad indeed :)

Rosie x