The glorious colours and flavours of summer

Well the glorious weather continues here, but sadly when I was in Liverpool last week the sun was in short supply, so I thought I’d bring a little plate of sunshine in the form of ‘Pat’s tabbouleh’

Why ‘pat’s’? Because this is a recipe that I have adopted and adapted a little, from Patricia, one of my lovely ladies who is learning English with me. Although I had made tabbouleh on many occasions, it was the inclusion of fennel seeds, cinnamon and balsamic vinegar that lifted Pat’s dish out of the ordinary.

I serve this as an accompaniment to fish (see my Fish with Feta cheese), with chicken, lamb, pork or salmon brochettes, or on its own with some crumbled feta cheese for a light lunch or as part of a packed lunch or picnic. It is a great alternative to rice or cous cous, and very much a ‘store cupboard’ dish, using up whatever I have at hand.

So go on ‘Let the sunshine in’

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Summer in the city

Serves 4-6

200grm Bulghar wheat

¼ of a large cucumber cut into small cubes

½ a red and green pepper (poivron rouge et verte) cut in to small cubes

4-6 firm cherry tomatoes (tomates cerises) cut into quarters

1-2 spring onions (oignons blancs) finely sliced

4 large fresh mint leaves finely chopped

1 tablespoon (2 cuil. a soupe) of olive oil (I used Olivier & Co olive oil with mint)

1 tablespoon (2 cuil. a soupe) of lemon juice (jus de citron jaune)

1 dessertspoon (1 cuil. a soupe) of balsamic vinegar (I used Greek balsamic with thyme and honey)

½ teaspoon of fennel seeds (grains de fenouil)

Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

A good ‘pinch’ of cinnamon


Mix the bulghar wheat with the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, spring onions and fennel seeds in a large salad bowl

Season to taste with salt, pepper and cinnamon

Add the olive oil and mix well

Add the lemon juice and mix well

Add the balsamic and mix well

Gently stir in the mint leaves

Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight to allow the wheat to swell

This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, and is a great dish to make in advance in large quantities for a summer garden party or barbeque and goes perfectly with Fish with Feta cheese, Afelia and Basque chicken

IMGP0961 (3)Afeliachicken 2


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