Bulgur wheat salad, baba ghanoush and wholemeal pitta
For all of you that haven't yet made my Turkey burgers (10th March blog), here are the great additions that will work really well with them and help make the meal complete. For those that have already made them..........well you will just have to make them again!
First for the Pitta.
you will need
200g strong white bread flour
150g strong wholemeal bread flour
250ml warm water (37 degrees is perfect)
7g sachet easy blend dried yeast or 3g fresh yeast
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
20g extra virgin olive oil
Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl being careful to keep the yeast and salt seperate to prevent retarding the yeast, bring all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon to form a mass of dough then turn out onto a very lightly floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and start to knead the dough. Be careful not to add too much more flour to your work surface or your dough will become too tight and result in a heavier bread, we want light and stretchy dough.
Kneading should take at least five minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. When you have reached this stage you can put the dough into a lightly floured bowl and cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
While the dough is working it's magic you can start the bulgur wheat salad, for this you will need
150g cracked bulgur wheat
50g toasted pumpkin seeds
2 ripe tomatoes
1 good handful of either dill, mint or flat parsley (or all three)
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 red onion
salt & pepper
Put the bulgur wheat into a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, turn the heat off and let that sit for a further 15 minutes until almost all of the water has been absorbed, remove form the heat and drain any excess water and put the bulgur wheat into a mixing bowl. While you are waiting for that to cool you can dice the tomatoes and the red onion and roughly chop up all the herbs. You can add the lime zest and juice along with the rest of the ingredients to the bulgur wheat when it is cool enough to not cook the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can probably get back to the bread now. Pre heat the oven to 230 degrees or 440 fahrenheit and put two trays in the oven to heat up. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a little to knock out the air (knocking back the dough), divide into eight balls and roll them out into oval shapes that are about 5-8mm thick. When the oven has heated you can take out the trays and put four pitta on each tray, put them back in the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes. Your pitta bread should puff up and create that familiar pocket associated with pitta, when ready transfer onto a cooling rack and cover with a damp cloth to stop them drying out.
Now for the baba ghanoush. I really enjoy this as it adds a new texture to the dish and I believe that aubergines are a big part of Middle Eastern cooking. Baba ghanoush should be a little zingy from the citrus with a deep, earthy flavour from the roasted cumin and also fruity from the olive oil.
You will need
2 cloves of garlic
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Cut the aubergine in half length ways and score the flesh in a criss cross, slice the garlic and put into a small tray with the oil and cumin seeds, season the aubergine halves and put them in the tray making sure they get thoroughly coated in the oil, cumin and garlic. Cover with tin foil and put in the oven at 200 degrees/400 fahrenheit for about 40 minutes or until soft. When the aubergine is cooked you can either put it in a food processor with all the oil, garlic and cumin and blend or you can chop it by hand to make it a little more authentic. When you have a nice pulp or paste you can add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning if needed. This can be served hot or cold and works really well with any spiced meat dishes from the middle east.