Hello! A little break over the Christmas and new year period turned into a much longer blog hiatus than expected. But I am back! And I have a lot of great stuff to share.
This salad is a favourite that I have been meaning to blog for a really long time. Like some of my other much loved salads this combines fresh herb goodness with a grain. The original recipe called for burghal wheat here, but I swapped it out for buckwheat due to my wheat intolerance. I really like the nuttiness of the buckwheat in this dish and think it is a very good substitute.
I always think you should use the best ingredients you can get your hands on and here I think it is particularly important to buy good olives. Over the years I have tried this recipe with a range of types of olives and unfortunately, I have also tried it with olives of varying quality. I really believe that Sicilian green olives are the winner here and you should try to go our of your way to get your hands on some nice olives from a deli. I have of course used Sicilian green olives from a jar but I have found that even the more expensive brands are still not quite there. Of course, if anyone has a fabulous brand of Sicilian green olives at hand, please let me know in the comments!
The most laborious element of this dish is pitting the olives – being somewhat uncoordinated I find it time consuming and somewhat dangerous to try to pit the olives with a knife. However, my trusty cherry and oliver pitter has changed all this. This little contraption is definitely worth the $8 I spent on it!
Olive related ramblings aside, this really is a stellar salad. The nuttiness of the buckwheat paired with salty olives, crunchy pistachios, fresh herbs and the zing of lemon all work so well together. Give it a try!
Pistachio and green olive tabbouleh
Adapted from a recipe by Shane Delia featured in Gourmet Traveller – I swapped the wheat for buckwheat, adjusted the quantities and omitted the garlic. In my view, four cloves of garlic tends to overpower the fine balance between the flavours. But give it a try if you like!
200g pistachio kernels
1 cup, flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
150g Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- Toast pistachios in a warm oven until golden (4-6 minutes). Leave to cool, then coarsely crush in a mortar and pestle and set aside in a salad bowl.
- Wash the buckwheat, then place in a saucepan and cover in boiling water. Cook over medium heat until soft with a little bite (a few minutes). Drain, then set aside to cool.
- Mix the herbs, olives, lemon and olive oil with the cooled pistachios and buckwheat. Season to taste.