Danger. The term Middle-Eastern may cause confusion and disorientation. If you thought the Middle East spanned the geographical region that spreads from Egypt to Iran, the G8 begs to differ. Didn’t you know that the Middle East reaches as far west as Morocco? But Morocco is further west than England, I hear you say. Still, you’re wrong. Here’s a link to the map of the Middle East according to the great forces of the world. Move out of the way geography, there’s a higher power at work.
The term Middle East has become a difficult one for me to use. As it is no longer specific to my part of the world, I need to find a better word. How can I describe a dish that is not traditional, but uses traditional flavours in new combinations? Maybe I’ll just name it after my mother. She uses these flavours often… OK then, here you go, an Isabelle style roast pumpkin salad.
Start with some of the basic tabbouleh ingredients. Parsley, mint and burghul. Make sure the burghul is soaked in water for a few minutes until it’s soft and doesn’t break your teeth. Add some roasted almonds and lemon rind. If you’ve never used lemon rind in a salad, you’re in for a treat. I love it so much I even add it to a tabbouleh and it rocks. Add some chunks of oven roasted pumpkin, diced tomatoes if you would like to, some chickpeas (from a can is fine) and dress the lot with some salt, lemon juice (not too much) and generous amount of olive oil. I didn’t have it, but some feta cheese would work a treat, I’m sure. There you go, a salad as Middle-Eastern as apple pie.
P.S. – I’m running out of things to talk about and am looking to you for inspiration. Do you have a Lebanese dish you want to learn to make, or is there an ingredient that is still shrouded with mystery that you want me to tell you about? Leave a comment and let me know.