Sabrina Ghayour is a favourite in Pigley’s Kitchen and her latest book, Bazaar: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes, looks to be up there with her best. Admittedly on first read through, not a lot caught my eye. Thankfully, in the second browse a lot stood out, including this Mograbieh Salad.
Mograbieh Salad may seem like an oddly virtuous first foray into the book, the name hardly screams EAT ME. There has been a big bag of Mograbieh, or Lebanese couscous, gathering dust in my kitchen for over a year. It was purchased on an apparently adventurous trip to the International Food Supermarket. It is basically a giant couscous grain, but unlike the normal sized couscous it isn’t such an instant cook. I discovered after its 15 minutes of simmering that like the normal sized couscous – I’m not a huge fan.
I don’t know what it is about couscous that I don’t like. It’s just a bit blah. It is less nutritious than most grains.. and if I want pasta I’ll have something more robust. The main benefit to couscous is the almost instantaneous availability of carbs, second only to slicing bread.
The Mograbieh Salad was better than expected. In the introduction, Sabrina says that it is better the next day after the spices have absorbed in. It is a simple mix of diced and fried peppers with the mograbieh, some toasted almonds (or sunflower seeds), a spiced dressing and a generous bunch of fresh parsley and some dill. I added some diced and steamed broccoli stalks to the peppers because they needed using and waste not want not.
As promised, the Mograbieh salad was better the next day, which Is ideal as it was a lunch option for the few three days. As a healthy light lunch, it is robust enough to be filling and keeps perfectly for a few days. As a sturdy salad it would be a good one to prepare in advance for a mezze spread or transported to a picnic. Flavour wise, the musky cinnamon and chilli dressing hits a good counterpoint to the fresh herbs. A little crumble of feta wouldn’t go amiss for a bit of tang, or some coconut yoghurt for the vegans and dairy-avoiders.
Somehow, Bazaar is only £6.99 on amazon which definitely constituent a steal – highly recommended.