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  • Seasonal recipe No 7 – Cucumber raita

    Posted on August 14th, 2009 Trish 1 comment

    cucumber - Camel CSA 13-08-09Serve this as a side dish with curries or simply as a dip. This recipe is from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook.  Without the turmeric and with a bit more garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil, you’ll have Greek tzatziki. And the Turkish cucumber and yoghurt salad cacik is pretty much identical too.

    Draining time: 30 minutes
    Preparation time: 5 minutes

    Serves 4-6

    ½ cucumber
    ¼ teaspoon fine salt
    200g mild natural yoghurt
    small bunch of mint
    1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    small pinch of ground turmeric or paprika

    Grate the cucumber – you don’t need to skin – and put it in a sieve over a bowl. Sprinkle it with the fine salt and leave it to drain for half an hour. Pat the cucumber dry with kitchen paper. Mix with the yoghurt, mint, garlic and just enough water to give you the consistency you want, usually in the region of 100ml. Add a pinch of turmeric for extra flavour and pale yellow colouring or sprinkle paprika over the top.

    I didn’t find it necessary to add water! There are many variations on this recipe: Delia Smith slices rather than grates the cucumber and adds a finely chopped spring onion, 2 pinches cayenne pepper and 1 pinch cumin seeds; Madhur Jaffrey doesn’t bother with draining the cucumber and uses 1 pinch roasted cumin seeds. But whichever way you make it, it’s a refreshing and cooling dish.

    Click here to see all the recipes that Camel CSA members have recommended so far.

  • Seasonal recipe No 6 – Tabbouleh (bulgar wheat salad)

    Posted on August 7th, 2009 charlotte 1 comment

    Bulgar wheat salad has an earthy taste and uses an abundance of parsley, which features in Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s veg boxes this week.  This well-tried version of tabbouleh comes from Claudia Roden’s classic A Book of Middle Eastern Food.

    Soaking time: 30 minutes
    Preparation time: about 15 minutes

    Serves 6

    250g fine bulgar wheat
    3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
    Salt and black pepper
    About one and a half teacups finely chopped flat-leaved parsley
    3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    4 tablespoons lemon juice
    Cooked vine leaves, raw lettuce or tender cabbage leaves (to serve)

    Soak the bulgar wheat in water for about half an hour before preparing the salad.  It will expand enormously.  Drain and squeeze out as much moisture as possible with your hands.  Spread out to dry further on a cloth.

    Mix the bulgar wheat with the chopped onions, squeezing with your hands to crush the onions so that their juices penetrate the wheat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the parsley, mint, olive oil and lemon juice, and mix well.  Taste to see if more salt, pepper or lemon are required.  The salad should be distinctly lemony.

    Tabbouleh is traditionally served in individual plates lined with boiled vine leaves, or raw lettuce or cabbage leaves.  People scoop the salad up with more leaves, served in a separate bowl beside it.

    tabboulehClaudia Roden adds: “As with most dishes, the preparation is highly individual.  Quantities of ingredients vary with every family, but parsley is always used abundantly.  This is a great Lebanese favourite.”  More about Claudia Roden.

    Compare her relaxed approach to Yotam Ottolenghi, chef/patron at Ottolenghi in London.  He insists there’s a right way and a wrong way to make this refreshing summer salad.  Click here to find out what he claims is the right way to do it.

    Click here to see all the recipes that Camel CSA members have recommended so far.