I can’t go all posh and French on you and call this a salade composée because technically that describes a collection of ingredients arranged in tidy, separate piles in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
This combination salad is tossed together in a messy but delicious way. It takes its inspiration from Mediterranean cuisines, containing as it does mograbiah (giant couscous), bulgur wheat, olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and lemons. But the stars of the show are the courgettes and herbs. You can never have too many courgette recipes if you grow your own. They make triffids look like amateurs.
It is a lovely summer salad and stands up well to being made the day before for a desktop lunch or or picnic. You can eat it as a stand-alone dish or add crumbled feta, grilled halloumi, barbecued meats, cold cuts … we had it with this very good pork and peppercorn terrine from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
And of course you can switch the grains according to what you have available and in whatever combination pleases you … mograbiah, ordinary couscous, bulgur wheat, or maybe brown and/or wild rice.
100g mograbiah (giant couscous), prepared according to packet instructions
30g bulgur wheat
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small red onion, cut into thin half moons
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
4 small courgettes or 2 large
Handful of pine nuts
1 heaped tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
Handful of black olives, pitted and halved
1 tbsp capers, drained
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Slice the courgettes into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler, or spiralise them. Set aside. Prepare the mograbiah, drain and cool. Put the bulgar wheat at the bottom of a serving bowl.
Heat the oil in a deep pan and cook the sliced onions and garlic on a medium heat until lightly tinged with gold. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of the bulgar wheat, without stirring.
In the same pan, toss the courgettes ribbons in the oil and cook briefly until just wilted but not coloured. Add to the pile on top of the bulgar wheat.
Toast the pine nuts in the remaining oil until golden, stirring to prevent them burning, otherwise they’ll be bitter. Add, with any oil still in the pan, to the bowl along with the mograbiah, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Do not stir!
Zest the lemon over everything and squeeze over the juice. Grind over a little sea salt and black pepper. Cover with cling film and leave for an hour or more, so the bulgur wheat in the bottom softens as the dressing percolates down.
When you’re ready to eat, add the chopped herbs and toss well to mix. Check the seasoning and serve garnished with a few more sprigs of herbs.
Yum! I’m looking forward to warmer days and salads, a very nice combo indeed…
Thank you Sandra. We’re about to lose our summer (if you can call it that) just as yours appears on the horizon. It’s an upside-down world, for sure. 🙂
Rightly said, one can never have enough courgette recipes! A great composition (capers, yeah), straight onto next weeks supper list or this optimist’s weekend barbecue. N xx
Haha, I hope your weather forecast this weekend is better than ours! Good luck and I hope you enjoy the recipe. Thanks, Nicole. Lx
I’ve often looked for giant cous-cous and always failed. Where do you buy yours?
Um, from a supermarket. Merchant Gourmet do one which is fairly widely available, I think. I’m sorry, can’t remember whether it was Tesco, Morrisons or Waitrose. You can also find fregola in Italian delis which is much the same thing.
PS Just checked online and my local Tesco does a wholewheat version.
Italian delis? Ha! This is wildest North Yorkshire doncha know? I’ll get back to Waitrose again then. I thought I’d looked.
Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll post you some. Lx
Thanks so much. I’m sure I just need to try harder. But not until we return from South Korea. Going soon……. 😉
Green with jealousy here. Have a fantastic time.
Excellent. Thank you. It must be top-shelf stuff in Harrogate.
Just as I’ll take an English garden over a formal French one any day, bring on the non-composed salad!
Vous êtes très aimable , chère Michelle. Merci! Lx 🙂
All this deliciousness and you speak French, too? Incroyable!
When I planted my zucchini, I had visions of scouring the web for recipes, of trading zucchini for the neighbors’ cucmbers, of blossoms stuffed with all kinds of goodness, Then a bunny appeared on the scene. My dreams are dashed, as it used my blossoms to fuel its maturation to rabbit. To add insult to injury, my neighbors give me cukes every time they catch me in my back yard, Nevertheless, Linda, this is a tasty sounding recipe. I’ll just have to swallow my pride and buy some zucchini. ((sigh))
My French is worse than my Spanish and my Spanish is execrable, although as we have an apartment there my plumbing vocabulary is coming on in leaps and bounds. 🙂 On the subject of rabbits, virtually everything in our garden here is fenced. If the bunnies don’t get it, the deer, squirrels and wood pigeons generally oblige. It’s a dog-eat-dog (or slug-eat-squash) world, for sure. We do, however, have zucchini in abundance. What a shame you live so far away, my formerly courgette-loving neighbours have started to avoid me. Lx