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Bulgar Wheat Salad With Pink-Seared Lamb

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

This bulgar wheat salad is loosely based on tabbouleh, only using coriander in place of the parsley, lime in place of the lemon and omitting the tomatoes and adding the chilli and some raw, diced courgettes. Coriander is so much more headily aromatic than parsley that I've made the ratio to herb and grain skewed differently from traditional tabbouleh: that's to say, this is a herb-flecked grainy salad, rather than a herb salad into which a few grains have been tossed.

Because the bulgar wheat is so strongly flavoured and aromatic you can leave the lamb as it is: no marinade, no nothing, just sweet and pink and warm against the green-flecked cracked wheat. If you want to serve the lamb on top of the salad, I find that two loins of lamb are plenty, but if you want to serve the meat on a separate plate, then I'd go for three. This may sound mad, but really it does seem to make a different to how people eat.

This bulgar wheat salad is loosely based on tabbouleh, only using coriander in place of the parsley, lime in place of the lemon and omitting the tomatoes and adding the chilli and some raw, diced courgettes. Coriander is so much more headily aromatic than parsley that I've made the ratio to herb and grain skewed differently from traditional tabbouleh: that's to say, this is a herb-flecked grainy salad, rather than a herb salad into which a few grains have been tossed.

Because the bulgar wheat is so strongly flavoured and aromatic you can leave the lamb as it is: no marinade, no nothing, just sweet and pink and warm against the green-flecked cracked wheat. If you want to serve the lamb on top of the salad, I find that two loins of lamb are plenty, but if you want to serve the meat on a separate plate, then I'd go for three. This may sound mad, but really it does seem to make a different to how people eat.

Bulgar Wheat Salad With Pink-Seared Lamb
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 8

Metric Cups
  • 250 grams bulgar wheat
  • 2 lamb loins (approx. 300g / 12oz each - or use 3, as in intro)
  • 100 grams fresh coriander (weight of leaves, without stalks, approx. 50g / 2oz)
  • 100 grams fresh mint (weight of leaves, without stalks, approx. 40g / 1½oz)
  • 6 - 8 spring onions
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 medium courgette
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1½ cups bulgur wheat
  • 2 lamb loins (approx. 300g / 12oz each - or use 3, as in intro)
  • 1½ cups cilantro (weight of leaves, without stalks, approx. 50g / 2oz)
  • 1¼ cups fresh mint (weight of leaves, without stalks, approx. 40g / 1½oz)
  • 6 - 8 scallions
  • 1 green chile
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • juice of 4 limes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

  1. Following the packet instructions, cover the bulgar wheat with water and leave to steep as directed.
  2. Either on a griddle or in a frying pan, sear the lamb over high heat, and then turn down and let cook for about 10 minutes, by which time the meat should still be a soft, velvet pink within. When cooked, set aside until the salad is ready; you want the lamb warm rather than hot, in any case.
  3. Now back to the salad. Chop the coriander and mint. If you promise not to leave it on for long, you can use the processor. Avoid reducing the herbs to wet mush: it's better to have the leaves left relatively large. Finely slice the spring onions and deseed the chilli and chop it very finely, too. Take half the courgette and peel it and dice it into very small pieces.
  4. Drain the bulgar wheat in a sieve when it tastes tender and push and squeeze as much water out as possible. Pour over the juice of 4 limes and all the olive oil. Add salt and pepper and toss well, either with your hands or a couple of forks. Reserve a small handful of the chopped coriander and mint and throw the remainder of the chopped herbs, chilli, spring onions and courgette into the dressed bulgar wheat and mix deftly.
  5. Taste to see if you need more lime juice (or indeed anything else). Arrange on the biggest dish you can find and then thinly slice the lamb and place it on top, in the centre. Get the vegetable peeler and shave thin slices from the remaining courgette and scatter these, along with the handful of reserved herbs, on top.
  1. Following the packet instructions, cover the bulgur wheat with water and leave to steep as directed.
  2. Either on a griddle or in a frying pan, sear the lamb over high heat, and then turn down and let cook for about 10 minutes, by which time the meat should still be a soft, velvet pink within. When cooked, set aside until the salad is ready; you want the lamb warm rather than hot, in any case.
  3. Now back to the salad. Chop the coriander and mint. If you promise not to leave it on for long, you can use the processor. Avoid reducing the herbs to wet mush: it's better to have the leaves left relatively large. Finely slice the scallions and deseed the chilli and chop it very finely, too. Take half the zucchini and peel it and dice it into very small pieces.
  4. Drain the bulgur wheat in a sieve when it tastes tender and push and squeeze as much water out as possible. Pour over the juice of 4 limes and all the olive oil. Add salt and pepper and toss well, either with your hands or a couple of forks. Reserve a small handful of the chopped coriander and mint and throw the remainder of the chopped herbs, chilli, scallions and zucchini into the dressed bulgur wheat and mix deftly.
  5. Taste to see if you need more lime juice (or indeed anything else). Arrange on the biggest dish you can find and then thinly slice the lamb and place it on top, in the centre. Get the vegetable peeler and shave thin slices from the remaining zucchini and scatter these, along with the handful of reserved herbs, on top.

Additional Information

½

½

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What 1 Other has said

  • Had this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Substituted couscous for the bulgar as my local supermarket no longer seems to stock it. Will definitely make again.

    Posted by JL1980 on 16th November 2015
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