GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

FED UP WITH DULL WINTER SALADS? THEN GIVE THIS TABBOULEH A TRY

THIS MIDDLE EASTERN INSPIRED SALAD IS A BEAUTIFUL COMBINATION OF WONDERFUL INGREDIENTS WORKING TOGETHER – what all good salads should be – with contrasting, yet compatible flavours and textures.

I HAVE GROWN PURSLANE FOR A LONG TIME in my KITCHEN GARDEN, BUT IT IS STILL NOT COMMON – that’s why I was pleased to see it for sale at my weekly Mullumbimby Farmers Market and prompted me to give it a starring turn in this delicious salad.

ONE OF THE MOST COMMON SALADS IN TURKEY is made from PURSLANE, WALNUTS, YOGHURT and GARLIC – yum! (go to this link for the recipe)

PUTTING A FRESH WINTER SALAD TOGETHER often has us scratching our heads, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We merely have to broaden our culinary horizons. Just about everything in this salad CAME FROM MY GARDEN – which is happily pumping away as the nights get colder. Some things actually thrive at this time of year in the subtropics – like radish, parsley, dill, fennel, chervil, mustard greens, purslane, mint, dill and Lebanese cress. IT’S NOT JUST ALL ABOUT LETTUCE!

FOR A COMPLETE SEASONAL PLANTING GUIDE FOR THE SUBTROPICAL FOOD GARDEN – go to this link

AND, AS I HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT BEFORE, PURSLANE CAN TRULY BE GIVEN THE TITLE OF SUPERFOOD or, as I like to call it, THE WONDER WEED. Just to summarize:

  • This slightly lemony and salty herbaceous plant is very low in calories but rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • It contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant. This has a proven and important nutritional benefit to any diet and more generally found in fish. So PURSLANE should be an essential component for vegetarians and vegans to include in their diet.
  • PURSLANE has one of the highest sources of VITAMIN A in any leafy green vegetable – which is a known powerful ANTIOXIDANT

THERE’S A LOT TO LOVE ABOUT PURSLANE and you can read all about it if you click on the link above.

RECIPE

  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped.
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped chives. You can replace this with spring onions if prefer a stronger oniony flavour.
  • 1 clove garlic, finely crushed.
  • 150g pistachios, chopped roughly – the fresher the better.
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa.
  • 1 large ripe, but firm avocado, diced into chunks.
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced to the same size.
  • 2 cups purslane – you eat the leaves and the succulent stems.
  • 2 cups flat leaf parsley, chopped.
  • 1 cup fresh mint, chopped.
  • 1 handful fresh dill, chopped..
  • 6 radish, sliced

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste – this salad will take quite a bit of salt

METHOD

  • Set aside the chopped chilli, garlic and chives.
  • An easy way to chop all the green stuff is to roll them together. Don’t overdo it otherwise they will look and taste like lawn clippings! Set aside.
  • In the bottom of a mixing bowl, combine, the honey, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Add the chilli, garlic and chives.
  • Add quinoa and mix around.
  • Add everything else and gently toss – with your hands is best taking care not to crush the avocado.
  • Add a few sliced radish as glowing garnish.

THIS SALAD SERVES SIX PEOPLE and was the perfect accompaniment to an Ottolenghi inspired slow cooked lamb with prunes and preserved lemon.

MORE SALADS TO INSPIRE

Carrot, preserved lemon and fig

Chargrilled vegetables with tahini dressing

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