And the reason is travel.
Travel is truly my favourite thing (and luckily, TT's) and I have had two fabulous trips recently: one to Paris and the south of France, and then shortly after, one to London and Brighton.
So I came back late on Sunday night not quite sure whether I wanted to be here or not. But to cheer me up, there it was writ large and clear on Facebook that my blog was included in the Top Ten Expat Blogs in Turkey. Very nice and very motivating indeed: warmest thanks to Property Turkey for giving me this boost.
Now I can get down to business as usual and concentrate on my Turkish table: today's recipe is one that I made just a few days before I flew off to Gatwick. We were invited to a lovely lunch party in Riva, which is out in the country towards the Black Sea. I had said I would like to make kısır, one of our favourite salads using bulgur or cracked wheat. I also was dying to try it out with my all-time favourite, pomegranate molasses..
|here is my kısır in its plastic box all ready to go to the party|
Now, all this may be sounding rather familiar: I do have not one but two posts all about somewhat similar salads using somewhat similar ingredients, but they are called tabule not kısır! May I remind you that Daughter No 1 always says that tabule is white while kısır is always, but always, red!!
This red is achieved by adding a spoonful of red pepper paste, a true Turkish ingredient that I recommend you add to your store cupboard if at all possible.
When you combine just the right mix of herbs and spices, I believe this salad is one of the great Middle Eastern salads, one that you, your friends and family will just love. I certainly do!
|adding the red pepper paste to the onion and cumin|
|getting there ..|
|the spring onions, washed and trimmed and ready to be chopped|
Kısır/Spicy Bulgur Salad with Tomatoes and Pomegranate Molasses
2 cups fine-grain bulgur wheat
1 large onion, finely chopped
8-10 spring onions, chopped
4-5 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp red pepper paste/biber salçası
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley/maydonoz, chopped
½-1 bunch of fresh mint/nane, chopped
½ bunch of fresh dill/dereotu, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp flaked red pepper/pul biber (spicy/acı, if liked)
1 tbsp cumin/kimyon
salt to taste
4 tbsp pomegranate molasses/nar ekşisi
juice of 1 lemon
½ - 1 cup olive oil/zeytinyağı
- Place the bulgur in a large bowl and add the chopped onion, cumin and 2-3 tablespoons hot water. Add the red pepper paste. Mix together. The idea is that the bulgur grains will swell and soften. No cooking is necessary.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice to the mix.
- On top, sprinkle the chopped herbs: parsley, mint, dill if using, spring onions and olive oil. Combine but try to avoid over-mixing. Season with the salt.
- Taste and see if you think if any of the herbs or spices should be increased: as with all these salads, nothing dire will happen if they are. It's all very personal!
- Decorate with black olives if desired, and mint sprigs. Kısır is often served with lettuce or even vine leaves on the side in which it is wrapped.
This salad can be made in advance so very handy for the busy cook! Just give it a stir before bringing to the table. Such a healthy dish I feel, and surely one that vegetarians in particular will love. It is also one where the tastes improve if made in advance.