After the delicious leg of lamb on Sunday I had plenty of meat left over but felt like something light and refreshing for the following day. Pomegranates and mandarines are in season at this time of year so I decided to combine these refreshing ingredients together with some bulgur. Combining mint with lamb is a natural, very traditional flavour combination – particularly in Britain where roast lamb and mint sauce is a firm favourtie. You can also, of course, just make this salad without any meat.
Bulgur originates in the middle east where it forms a core ingredient in tabbouleh and pilaf. Bulgur should not be confused with couscous, which originates in North Africa. Couscous is a form of semolina deriving from durum wheat. Bulgur, on the other hand, derives from the wheat kernel where it is steamed, dried and crushed.It can be eaten raw or cooked and because it is a whole grain retains a lot of the wheat’s nutrition. It has a more chewy texture and has a slightly more nutty flavour, which I think makes it more desirable than couscous.
This salad was so easy to prepare and is a happy marriage of seasonal vegetables with left-overs. We ate it alongside some tagine bread from Rashid and some buttered spinach.
A large bunch of mint.
1 tsp. honey.
A good glug of white wine vinegar.
1 cup of bulgur.
3 cups of water.
A good pat of goose fat.
Fry the bulgur in the goose fat or drippings until all of the grains are nicely covered in fat. Pour the water (or stock if you have some) over the bulgur and stir. Leave to simmer until most of the moisture has been absorbed – around 10-15 minutes). Turn the heat off and leave the pan on the hob with the lid on to allow the rest of the moisture to steam away in order to leave a more fluffy texture. Set to one side and leave to cool.
Chop the mint into fine strips. Squeeze the juice of the pomegranate into a bowl reserving some of the seeds to mix into the salad later. Into the pomegranate juice mix the white wine vinegar, the honey, salt & pepper, olive oil and chopped mint. Once the bulgur has cooled sufficiently add the left over lamb and pour the vinaigrette over the bulgur.
Finally mix the chopped mandarines and pomegranate seeds into the salad.
Serve with buttered spinach and some tagine bread.