This Middle Eastern salad is so pretty and summery, and if you have mint in the garden that is growing as wild as a jungle – as mine does – it's a wonderful way to use some of it!
Serves 6-8 as a side salad
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection.
8 oz (225 g) cracked wheat (available from health food shops)
2 oz (50 g) parsley, finely chopped
8 spring onions, finely chopped (including the green parts)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 large beef tomatoes, about 1 lb (450 g)
1½ oz (40 g) fresh mint leaves without stalks, finely chopped
4 inches (10 cm) cucumber, very finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly milled black pepper
crisp lettuce leaves
Start off by measuring the cracked wheat into a bowl. Cover it with plenty of cold water and leave for approximately 20 minutes or until the grains soften and lose their crunchiness (which means, of course, you'll have to bite a few to find out how they're going).
Then have ready a large sieve or colander lined with a clean tea cloth.
When the cracked wheat has softened, pour the contents of the bowl into the sieve, drain and squeeze hard to extract as much water as possible. Shake the wheat into a deep bowl and stir in the parsley and spring onions followed by the lemon juice and 1½ teaspoons of salt to combine thoroughly.
Then (if you have time) chill it in the fridge for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes.
Pour boiling water over them and leave for 1 minute, then slip off the skins, protecting your hands with a cloth if you need to. Watch How To Skin Tomatoes here.
Halve the tomatoes and squeeze out the seeds before chopping the flesh quite small and adding to the bowl containing the wheat.
Next, add the mint, cucumber and olive oil to the salad and mix to combine everything.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve piled straight on a plate lined with some crisp lettuce leaves.