Cracked Wheat Gazpacho Salad

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Cracked Wheat Gazpacho Salad.

 

34 ° and its too hot to cook – here is a delicious no cook salad for summer heatwaves when turning on the oven is more than you can bear.  Serve it very simply with and a fresh green salad and something like a cool fresh mozzarella sliced and scattered with fresh herbs, and drizzled with fragrant olive oil. Or with cold cuts, cold poached salmon, prawns or simple antipasti. This beautiful salad also makes an ideal accompaniment to another of Stirring Stuffs no cook salads –  Tarragon chicken mayonnaise with grapes  .

I first came across the idea for this recipe in Sally Clarke’s Book,

Sally Clarke’s Book: Recipes from a restaurant, shop and bakery. Macmillan Press 1999.

 Sally is right in her surmise that soaking the wheat in a  lovely gutsy tomato juice makes all the difference. The Salad keeps well and is better made the day before serving to allow the flavours to really develop well.  This dish makes a delightful addition to a summer buffet or picnic. 

The recipe below is my simplified variation of Sally’s recipe. To make it even more simple, and even more no cook,  then instead of blitzing the cucumber and herbs simply buy fresh gazpacho and use about  500ml to soak the wheat in. Chop up the whole cucumber and finely dice all of the hers and simply mix them in at the end with the olive oil.

 Cracked Wheat Gazpacho Salad

Ingredients:

Serves 6-8

200g cracked wheat (bulgur wheat)

1 medium cucumber, skinned and cut in half.

1 x12g bunch each of coriander, mint, parsley

3 chives leaves

½ a small red chilli – optional

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of a small orange

1 teaspoon flaked sea salt such as Maldon salt

400ml tomato juice or tomato passata

100ml fruity extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Method:

Put the cracked wheat into a large mixing bowl.

Cut one half of the skinned cucumber into chunks and put these into a food processor or liquidiser jug.

Remove the stalks from the coriander, the mint and the parsley. Set the leaves aside and pop the herb stalks  and the chives in with the cucumber.  Add the chilli if using along with the garlic,the lemon juice and the orange zest. Blitz these ingredients until they are well pulped and then pour in the tomato juice and 50ml of the olive oil. Blitz to mix and emulsify the juice.

Pour ¾ of the juice over the cracked wheat, reserving the final ¼ for later. Stir the wheat to make user the juice is evenly distributed and then cover and leave to stand for several hours to soften and absorb the juice.

When the grain is soft adjust the consistency with the reserved juice and half of the olive oil. The salad should be moist but not sloppy.

To finish the salad remove the seeds from the remaining cucumber half and finely dice. Finely chop the reserved herb leaves. Stir both into the plump wheat, adjust the seasoning and drizzle the salad with the reserved olive oil.

Serve cool or at room temperature.

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Cracked Wheat or Bulgur Wheat Salad makes a wonderful addition to a summer Buffet or Picnic. Served here with Artichoke Pithiviers and Aubergine Roulades.

 

 

 

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