I was asked by Cotton Traders if I would like to get involved in a little competition. The challenge is to cook using herbs at home. The only rule being that you create a dish using one of the herbs featured in their guide. Thyme, basil, parsley, mint and lavender. This guide tells you everything you need to know about how to grow your own herbs and different ways of using them in the kitchen. Herbs are easy to grow and you don’t need a big garden either. Just a windowsill can be enough to create a little herb garden ready to use as and when you need them. As well as having a huge sense of achievement when you see your herbs grow you can be sure that they are free from harmful pesticides too. It’s a win, win! Spring is the perfect time to plant your herbs so get yourself some good quality seeds, compost, plant food, herb pots and get started.
I decided that for my dish I would focus on parsley. I chose tabbouleh for my recipe. Tabbouleh is a Levantine vegetarian dish traditionally made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion. Seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Some variations add garlic, lettuce, cucumber or use couscous instead of bulgur. I could only use one herb in my recipe so decided that I would go heavy on the parsley. In my eyes a good Tabouleh is almost more herb than bulgar wheat. I wanted my recipe to look really fresh in colour. The more herbs the better…
- 250g bulgar wheat
- 4 vine tomatoes
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 bunch spring onions
- 2 packs fresh parsley
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- Prepare the bulgar wheat: Put the bulgar wheat into a large bowl. Pour over enough boiling water to cover the bulgar wheat. Cover with a plate or cling film and leave to stand for 15 mins until all the liquid has been absorbed. Separate the grains by roughing them up with a fork.
- Finely dice the vine-ripened tomatoes and the cucumber. (I take out the watery seeds and middle from the cucumber) Slice the spring onions and finely chop the parsley, then add everything to the bulgar wheat with the grated zest of a lemon.
- Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and the garlic with plenty of seasoning and drizzle over the bulgar wheat. Toss well.
- Serve with some pan fried or chargrilled halloumi and some homemade tzatziki. Absolutely delicious and a perfect dish for Spring/summer.