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The best way to burn up celery leaves in a seasonal, wintry tabbouleh – recipe | Waste not Specific Occasions

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On a visit to Palestine 5 years in the past with the Fairtrade Basis and Zaytoun, I visited a ladies’s co-op in Jenin to the north, the place I used to be taught the right way to make maftoul, a standard hand-rolled couscous constructed from native natural wheat (it takes an hour to roll only a kilo of the stuff, which is then steamed and sun-dried). I like utilizing dry items sourced from the world’s larder by Fairtrade, not least as a result of it’s an effective way to assist farmers and producers, however wherever potential I additionally wish to prepare dinner with principally native and seasonal contemporary elements for all kinds of causes, from vitamin (and due to this fact flavour) to supporting my very own native economic system. I additionally discover that, by limiting myself to seasonal produce, I enhance the standard of my meals and push my creativity. Tabbouleh, for instance, is normally made with parsley, tomatoes and spring onions, however right here I exploit celery leaves, roast peppers and leeks to make a seasonal variation.

Winter tabbouleh with celery leaves, preserved peppers and sumac

On this tackle tabbouleh, I’ve swapped the standard elements for seasonal differences. Celery leaves change the standard parsley, lending their fragrant flavour to the dish. British spring onions aren’t accessible till March, however leeks are a mainstay within the chilly winter months and make an amazing various – I used some good younger ones that I discovered at my native market. Tomatoes, in the meantime, are a bit trickier to interchange, however I actually wished so as to add some sweetness to the dish to stability out the bitterness of the celery leaves and bitter lemon juice and sumac, so I ended up utilizing a jar of preserved roast crimson peppers, which additionally added these distinctive crimson jewels of color that makes tabbouleh so enticing. And whereas you could find contemporary mint rising in some greenhouses proper now, to be on the secure facet I’ve used dried mint as a substitute, not least as a result of it provides additional sweetness to the dish.

You may get maftoul, or large couscous, in bigger supermarkets, and in delis, wholefood shops and grocery outlets throughout the nation, in addition to on-line. It’s made with a wide range of heritage grains from Palestine, and it’s wholegrain, too; it’s additionally essentially the most flavourful couscous I’ve ever tried.

Serves 4 as a facet

100g maftoul, or large couscous
50g picked celery leaves (and/or parsley)
50g darkish inexperienced leek tops
100g jarred roast peppers
(eg, piquillo), drained
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
, or cider vinegar
2 tsp dried mint
1 tbsp sumac
Sea salt, to style

Rinse the maftoul, then tip it right into a small saucepan and canopy with 200ml water. Cowl, convey to a boil on a medium-high warmth, flip all the way down to a simmer and prepare dinner for quarter-hour, till al dente (when you’re utilizing a distinct sort of couscous, it could effectively prepare dinner a lot quicker than maftoul, so observe the packet directions). Take off the warmth and depart to chill.

Roughly chop the celery leaves (if want be, make up the load with flat-leaf parsley leaves), finely shred the leek tops and roughly chop the roast peppers. Stir all these into the couscous, then costume with the olive oil and lemon juice. Add the dried mint and sumac, if utilizing, season to style with sea salt, toss once more and serve.

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