Known for its tartness, sumac contrasts well with sweet Butternut squash and helps balance the flavour profile of this Sumac Roasted Squash and Bulgur Wheat salad.
Cooking Sumac Roasted Squash
For this recipe, cut one butternut squash into 16 wedges, 8 from the top and from the bottom with the seeds removed. Preheat the oven to 200C, marinade with the spices and roast for 25-35 minutes until the flesh is tender.
Bulgur Wheat With Sumac Roasted Squash
Bulgur Wheat is a cracked wheat popular across the Middle East and North Africa. It’s made from parboiled wholegrain kernels which are then dried and rushed into smaller grains. This process rapidly reduces the amount of time the wheat takes to cook.
This parboiling of the wheat kernels reduces bulgur wheat cooking time to less than 15 minutes. As a rule, bulgur wheat requires approximately 1 ½ g of water per 1g of bulgur wheat. However, every brand varies and it may be worth following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Two types of dried tomatoes are typically called for, one is sun-dried meaning they’ve dried out in the sun. This process fully removes the water from the tomatoes before packing them into oil, preserving them for later use. Semi-dried tomatoes are similar except they’re removed from the sun before becoming fully dry. This results in a tomato with a juicier texture. As a result, semi-dried tomatoes tend to have a shorter shelf life than their dry counterparts. For this recipe, either can be used, just rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes in a little warm water for 20 minutes before chopping them to restore their juiciest.
Preserved Lemons are popular in the cuisines of the Middle East and India. They were also popular in Victorian England. The lemons in this recipe are brined in the traditional Moroccan way. Beldi lemons used for this condiment are softer-skinned, allowing the brine to seep into the whole lemon. If the salty preserved lemons aren’t available, try using s regular lemon, finishing the bulghar with a liberal sprinkling of lemon Zest.
Sumac Roasted Squash and Bulghar Wheat Salad
For the Roasted Squash
- 1 Tsp Sumac
- ½ Tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ Tsp Paprika
- ½ Tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 Butternut Squash Cut into Wedges
- 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
- Salt / Pepper to taste
For the Bulgur Wheat
- 200 g Bulgur Wheat
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 2 Preserved Beldi Lemon Halved
- 300 ml cold water
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley Finely Chopper
- 50 g Sun Dried Cherry Tomatoes Drained
- Seeds from ½ Pomegranate
- Preheat the oven to 200C or 180C Fan 0r 400F or Gas 6
- In a bowl, add the butternut squash wedges and mix with sumac, cumin seeds, paprika, dried oregano, salt to taste, and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and mix again. Lay the wedges on a flat tray and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning once until the wedges are tender. Once, cooked, set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the bulgur wheat by placing it in a saucepan with tomato paste, smoked paprika, preserved lemons, and salt to taste. Mix well, then cover with water. Gently bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then set aside to cool.
- To build the salad, mix the bulgur wheat with the cherry tomatoes, and half of the parsley. Layer the squash and bulgur wheat in a salad bowl, then top with fresh parsley and pomegranates.