Bulgur salad with preserved lemon chicken


One of my favourite grains is bulgur. I always have at least 1 bag at home. Mainly I use it in salads, combining it with all sorts of vegetables. Recently I bought very juicy Medjool dates while shopping and once back home I had to decide what exactly I wanted to use them for. It took only a few minutes brainstorming to come up with the following recipe. Since then I have made this recipe a couple of times. Hope you will find it as tasty as I do.


Bulgur salad with preserved lemon chicken

250g bulgur

500g vegetable broth

1 red onion, halved and sliced

6 Medjool dates, stone removed, cut into long stripes

100g pine nuts or chopped pistachios

1 garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 heaped tbsp harissa paste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil, for drizzling 

For the chicken breast:

2 skinless chicken breasts

4 garlic, crushed and chopped

1 big preserved lemon or 2-3 small ones, chopped

1 pack coriander, chopped (including stems), keep some leaves aside for decoration 

Lemon juice, to taste

100ml olive oil, for marinating 

First marinate the chicken breasts. Put all the ingredients for the chicken including the chicken breasts into a large freezer bag. Let most of the air out and close the bag with a knot. Now massage the chicken with the oil, lemons, garlic and coriander. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180C fan.

Bring the bulgur with the vegetable broth to a boil and simmer with a lid on, over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to a big bowl and use a fork to fluff it up.

For the salad, fry the nuts in a dry pan until they turn golden brown. Keep an eye on them and shake frequently so they don’t get burned. Once done, put them into a bowl and set aside. Use the same pan putting 2-3 tbsp of olive oil into it and sweat the onions with a pinch of salt over a medium heat until soft. Add the chopped garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine vinegar. Tip the onions, dates, pistachios and the harissa paste into the bulgur and mix well.

Use the same pan to fry the chicken with all the marinade, both sides 3 minutes then transfer all of it onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Place the chicken onto a plate to rest, while mixing the marinate into the bulgur salad. Season to tase with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Divide the salad between two plates. Cut the chicken into slices and lay on top of the salad. Drizzle with some olive oil, decorate with the leftover coriander and serve. I like to eat my portion with plain yoghurt on the side.


Instead of putting the chicken on top, you can cut the chicken into smaller pieces and mix it under the salad.


It’s also very tasty without any chicken!


Warming winter soup


I just came back from a fantastic round trip in Italy. Driving through Tuscany, Amalfi Coast and Umbria, I had so many delicious meals, that I got inspired to cook a typical Umbrian soup: Zuppa di legumi. The weather here is getting cooler each day and I am longing to go back to Italy to soak up more sun, but instead I’m standing in my kitchen and cook hearty Italian food to share the recipes with you.


Warming winter soup

500g mixed dried pulses ( red, green, yellow and brown lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, butter beans,cannellini beans, borlotti beans)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

200g smoked streaky bacon, diced

1 carrot, chopped

1 leek, sliced in thin rings

3 sprigs rosemary, chopped

5 medium tomatoes ,  hopped

5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

4 tbsp olive oil

1,5 liter vegetable stock

salt, pepper

rind of Parmesan, approx. 2-3 cm thick

Heat the olive oil in a big pan, add the garlic, carrots, leek, bacon and rosemary and cook gently for about 10 minutes. Add the pulses, tomatoes, Parmesan rind and the stock, bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add the potatoes  and simmer for further 30 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper.



Coleslaw with a twist

Coleslaw with a twist


It is a bank holiday weekend and I have been home alone for 5 days. Technically I am not alone, our dog is with me. However child #2 has already started uni, child #1 is still on vacation and Mr T is on a business trip in Japan. I always think about food and I am always hungry and it’s even worse when I am just slightly bored (fact from a very good friend – she must know!) So in between searching our cupboards for my next snack, I have so far cooked home made potato salad with cod fillet (my moms recipe), a vegetarian curry with chickpeas and spinach (from scratch of course), and two little chocolate cakes that are to die for.

Today is Sunday, the fridge is almost empty, and I am craving coleslaw for dinner. All that’s left is 5 carrots, 2 yellow peppers, 2 turkey breast fillets that are already fried, and of course the usual store cupboard ingredients, like mayonnaise (always Heinz), mustard, milk and a pot of creme fraiche. So I walked into the kitchen closely followed by our dog, who is always hoping for something to fall off the chopping board. Only 10 minutes later I had created something extremely delicious – And that’s how Coleslaw with a twist was born.


Coleslaw with a twist

400g carrots, peeled and grated

2 yellow peppers, deseeded and sliced

1 bunch chive, finely chopped

For the sauce:

3 tbsp good quality mayonnaise (I always use Heinz)

3 tbsp Crème fraîche

1 tsp mustard

1-2 tbsp milk

1 tsp white vinegar

Salt and pepper







In a bowl, mix the grated carrots and sliced peppers and set aside. In a separate bowl combine all the ingredients for the sauce and mix well. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and add the chopped chive. Toss until well combined. Season to taste.

I served my coleslaw with sausages, but you can use chicken, turkey breast filet or just a slice of home made bread as well.



















Summer salad with crispy feta cheese

Summer salad with crispy feta cheese



You might wonder why I am posting so many recipes with strawberries……Very simple answer I just love them. The few months during summer when strawberries are dark red, bursting with flavour and spreading a heavenly aroma, I can’t get enough of them! One of my store cupboard ingredients is feta cheese, I always have at least three or five in my fridge. They are very versatile to use, either cold crumbled over salad, baked in the oven with vegetables or made into a dip or dressing. So it was easy to go for crispy feta cheese to accompany my strawberry summer salad.




Summer salad with crispy feta cheese

1/2 cucumber, diced

1/2 iceberg salad, shredded

1 fennel , thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you have one)

250g strawberries, halved (quartered if big)

for the dressing:

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1/2 tbsp runny honey

1 tbsp whole grain mustard

salt, pepper

for the crispy feta cheese:

2 feta cheese, cut in half

1-2 eggs, beaten

panko ( Japanese bread crumbs), you can use normal bread crumbs as well


oil for frying

To make the salad, mix all ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or jam jar and mix well. Pour over the salad and mix. Season with salt and pepper.

For the feta cheese, place the eggs, panko and flour on separate deep plates. Toss the feta first in flour, then in the beaten egg and last coat with panko crumbs. You might want to add a second layer of the panko crumbs. Therefore you just toss the cheese in the egg and then in the panko crumbs again. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the feta cheese from both sides until golden brown. Serve with the summer salad on the side.