It feels like it hasn’t rained for absolutely AGES here in London so it got me thinking I wanted to make a really summery dish. Enter Asparagus Tabouleh…. Originally a Middle Eastern dish (unsurprising as it’s so light and fresh) it’s such a great summery dish to play around with. Someone asked on my Instagram if you could use quinoa instead of bulgar wheat and the answer to that is always yes with a tabouleh. In fact, you can use just about any pulse you can imagine to make the dish work. It’s all about the fresh mint, coriander and lemon juice to bring the dish to life. The great thing about pulses, as I’ve touched upon before when using cous cous, is that they pack a real punch with protein content, whilst slightly lowering the sugar content compared to your standard bread, pasta or rice (go-to carbs).
Asparagus wouldn’t ‘normally’ go in a tabouleh but as I say, it’s so easy to vary the ingredients in a that so long as you have enough fresh veg and the right proportion of those to whichever pulse you go for, the potential variation is endless. Not only does that mean you can throw in nutritious vegetables of every kind, but you can also save money. I so often look in my fridge or freezer and think “oh lord how am I going to use that, it goes off tomorrow”. I have a few go too’s in that instance; stir fry being the obvious one, just boiling it and hoping I’ve got some good meat to go with it OR I’ll throw it in a salad, as I have here with the asparagus and what better salad than a tabouleh?
If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you can easily just rustle up some grilled chicken, steak, fish, or anything you like to go with it. Indeed it’s the perfect dish to bring along to a barbecue, rather than any old salad. TRUST ME people will be impressed and think it’s a lot more difficult than it is – especially when you throw in the balsamic glaze for good measure.
- 250g Bulgar Wheat (55p)
- 1/2 Cucumber (25p)
- 4 spring onions (25p)
- 200g Cherry Tomatoes (40p)
- 4 tbsp lemon juice (10p)
- 15g fresh mint (40p)
- 20g fresh coriander (25p)
- 100ml balsamic vinegar (40p)
- 1 cube vegetable stock (5p)
- 150g asparagus (£1)
- Splash of olive oil (5p)
- Salt n Pepper
You’ll need a small frying pan to make the balsamic reduction and a saucepan for the bulgar wheat.
Boil a kettle with 2 cups water for each cup bulgar wheat.
1. Pour the bulgar wheat into a saucepan and add the boiling water and vegetable stock cube, stir thoroughly and leave on a low heat for 10 minutes.
2. In the mean time, chop all of the asparagus across in roughly 2cm pieces. Then do the same to the spring onions, quarter the cherry tomatoes, dice the cucumber, finely chop the mint and coriander. 5 minutes.
3. Once the bulgar wheat has been on for 5 minutes, pour 100ml of balsamic vinegar into a small frying pan on a low heat and stir regularly for 15 minutes or until you’re left with a glaze. DO NOT OVERHEAT OR LEAVE ON TOO LONG. (Or you’ll be left with a black sticky mess ).
4. In the mean time, after 10 minutes on the bulgar wheat, take it off the heat, add the asparagus and stir in to lightly cook for 10 more minutes with the lid on.
5. Take off lid after 10 minutes before using a fork to fluff (as you would with cous cous) as well as taking the glaze off the heat too.
6. Throw it all together (minus the glaze) with 4 tbsp lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, the chopped coriander and mint, and stir thoroughly with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Serve it up with some sweet balsamic glaze and you’re away! ??