A mezze meal

My cooking abilities are rarely, if ever put to the test these days, either through lack of time, laziness or because I dine out with friends regularly. Given that my brother is a chef and I was brought up in a house with amazing food, you’d think I’d enjoy cooking more. but occasionally I find a recipe or two that I enjoy cooking, that are relatively quick to make and I enjoy eating.

My current favourites are falafel and tabbouleh which work well for both taking to the office for lunch and as an evening meal.

Falafel

(adapted from BBC Good Food)

400g can chickpea, rinsed and drained
Garlic clove, chopped
Handful of flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1⁄2 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp coconut oil
1 small red onion, roughly chopped

Drain the chickpeas into a sieve and rinse in cold water. Pat them dry with kitchen paper and tip into a food processor with the onion, garlic, parsley, spices, flour and a little salt. Blend until fairly smooth and shape into 9 small patties.

Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the falafel to the pan when the oil is hot and quickly fry for 3 mins on each side until lightly golden.

Tabbouleh

(Adapted from BBC Food)

25g/1oz bulgur wheat
2 large, ripe vine tomatoes
Large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, washed, dried, finely chopped
Small bunch fresh mint leaves, washed, dried, finely chopped
2 spring onions, washed, dried and finely chopped
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes
Fresh black pepper

Place the bulgur wheat into a sieve and wash in cold water to remove excess starch. Place in a pan with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, place back in the sieve and rinse once more with cold water and set aside to cool.

Wash and finely chop the tomatoes and place them into a colander to drain away excess liquid. Transfer the diced tomatoes to a serving bowl.

Add the parsley, mint and spring onion to the tomatoes and mix well until combined.

Fluff the cooled bulgur wheat with a fork and add to the tomato mixture.

Drizzle over the lime juice and olive oil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper, mixing well to coat the ingredients in the liquid.

________

I make the both of these dishes at the beginning of the week and sometimes have enough to last me the week. I add houmous and tzatziki to the dish along with some salad leaves and sometimes even some roast chicken if I need to bulk it out further. Whilst the tabbouleh can take some time to assemble, I promise you its worth it.

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