1. April 2013

Green Tabouleh Variation and a Flatbread Recipe

The first days of spring are officially over and what can I say?  When looking at the temperatures, the 20th of march could as well has been the beginning of winter. Snowy Easter. Uhm, yes.

Despite the lack of sunshine and warm winds blowing through my hair, I am totally ready for some spring fun.
Picnics and barbecues are by far my favorite food-related warm weather activities.
Too bad the weather gods aren’t of the same opinion yet, but since I do not let myself rule by negligibilities, I dived deep into my summer recipe collection and came up with a new to me dish, comprising raw broccoli.
Broccoli is one of the most loved and most commonly used vegetables in my kitchen.
I normally serve it the “old-fashioned” way: Steamed, with a knob of (vegan) butter (or to make it more fancy, coconut oil), some salt and of course, nutmeg.
This probably is a well-known way to prepare broccoli, but traditional recipes are often the best ones and sometimes it is good to stick with approved methods.
But since I am a food fanatic and constantly on the hunt for new, creative ways to prepare old favorites, I left my comfort zone and  laid my hands on RAW broccoli.

I admit, for many this may not sound too exciting but for me as a German it really does.
I spent some time in Canada when I was still at high-school and that was the first time I saw a human being munching on raw broccoli florets alongside a bag of pre-packaged baby carrots for lunch. “Hmm…Very tasty weird indeed,” was all I could think back then.
Now that I read many English speaking blogs, I know that raw broccoli is a staple snack for many people. It is served the same way Germans serve carrot , cucumber, and raw pepper sticks with herbed dips. When I was younger my Mum used to make vegetable sticks and dips for me and my friends to take to the swimming-pool, for example.
I really adore Canada and its people, but even the greatest love did not made me want to try raw broccoli.
This was until yesterday when I found myself wondering what kind of salad I should come up with, having broccoli, dill and quinoa on hand.
Steam the broccoli as always? Nah, too boring. Roast it in the oven? Nah, always burns and turns dry. Fry in the pan? Hmm…will taste like steamed probably. Use it raw? What a stupid great idea!
Alright, I went with the stupid idea and tried my best to make the raw vegetable taste as good as possible to get my taste buds used to the unknown taste of raw broccoli.
In my opinion, the salad turned out really delicious and I actually could not tell the broccoli was raw. I’d say, it is a great recipe for “raw broccoli beginners” like me.
I also stuck to
the green theme of the salad once again, since “green” reminds me so much of the time when the world turns into a light green paradise again (aka spring) and a plate full of green goodies makes my heart jump with delight.

The dressing I made is an old favorite of mine. Tahini dressings are tasty, versatile, quick to make and add some nice earthy depth to every dish.
Lemon juice is the tahini’s best companion since it adds a fresh taste and its Vitamin C helps the body absorb the iron from the sesame seeds.

The salad can also be made in advance since it does not get mushy and the flavors pop out even more the next say. It is also great for picnics since the salad stays fresh for a few hours without cooling.

Green Tabouleh


(Serves 4-6)

1 small broccoli head (375g)
2 cups (300g) cooked quinoa
6 sprigs dill, finely chopped

1 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp fleur de sel
Black pepper

1-2 avocados, chopped

Cut off broccoli florets and peel stalks. Take the florets and “shave” the dark green parts off the florets. Set aside.
Put stalks and the rest of the florets into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add dark green parts of the florets and pulse to combine.
In a large salad bowl mix quinoa, “broccoli-crumble” and dill.
Pour over dressing ingredients  and mix well.
Add avocado cubes right before serving.

Serve alongside homemade dips like hummus, or yoghurt sauce, Sesame Flatbread, and grilled vegetables.
Serves well as a salad for spring and summer picnics, barbecues, and potlucks.


(Makes 4)

15 g fresh yeast
100 ml luke-warm water
1 cup (130g) whole grain spelt flour
½ cup (65g) spelt flour + 2 Tbsp for kneading
¼ cup olive oil + 1 Tbsp for the bowl
1 tsp fleur de sel or coarse sea salt

Black sesame seeds

1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil

Dissolve yeast in 100 ml luke-warm water. Set aside.
In a medium bowl add 1 cup whole grain and ½ cup spelt flour. Sprinkle in salt.
Slowly add yeast-water-mixture, but try to avoid the salt. With a handmixer start kneading. Slowly add olive oil and keep on kneading until everything is combined.
Now go on kneading with your hands. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp spelt flour over the dough and kneed  until a smooth dough is formed. Form dough into a ball and coat in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Place back into the bowl. Cover with foil or a towel and let rise at a warm place for about 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. On a floured surface roll out the dough into 4 oval flatbreads. Place on a lined baking sheet.
Mix garlic and olive oil in a little bowl and spread about 1 tsp of the mixture on each flatbread. Sprinle with black sesame seeds. Let the breads rise for 20 more minutes.
In the meantime preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
Bake the flatbreads at 175°C for 15-20 minutes.

Let's have a picnic!

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