Middle Eastern cookery, packed with heaps of vegetables, pulses, herbs and spices has so much to offer veggies and vegans.
The salads and breads are a real treat: such as tabbouleh, bursting with flavour and freshness with handfuls of parsley and fresh lemon juice. It is perfect served with flatbread – soft, warm and waiting to be dipped into a big bowl of silky hummus.
I saw contestants on the BBC’s Great British Bake-Off making flatbreads a couple of weeks ago, which was the inspiration for this quick lunch. They are also an excellent thing to make if you need bread in a hurry.
Tabbouleh with Poppy Seed Flatbread
Preparation/cooking time 30 mins
200g/7oz bulgar wheat
½ red onion, finely chopped
½ lemon, juiced
100g/3oz baby plum tomatoes, chopped
Handful mixed leaves, chopped
2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt to taste.
250g/9oz plain flour
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
150ml/5fl oz warm water
1. Cook the bulgar wheat according to packet instructions and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, start the flatbread.
2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, adding in the seeds and salt. Make a well in the middle and mix in the oil and water with a wooden spoon.
4. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead for 5 mins on a floured surface. Let the dough rest for 15 mins.
5. Now prepare the rest of the tabbouleh ingredients and place them all together in a large salad serving bowl. Set aside.
6. Take the flatbread dough and roll it into a sausage. Cut it into 4 pieces. Keep your worktop well-floured and roll each piece into a ball before flattening with a rolling-pin. Each bread should be about 3mm thick.
7. Heat a large, shallow frying pan until very hot. Place a bread in the pan, cooking on one side for 2-3 mins before turning. You will see the dough setting and changing colour as it cooks. Keep each one warm under a clean tea towel while you make the rest.
8. To finish the tabbouleh, mix in the bulgar wheat with the other ingredients in the salad bowl when it has cooled.
9. Serve the tabbouleh and warm flatbread with homemade hummus.