The Oxford Dictionary tells me that a salad is “A cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredient” so on that basis my title is incorrect. I say the definition needs to be reviewed because it is narrow and culturally relative e.g. thai noodle salad, panzanella, tabouleh etc.
I frequently make this salad it’s one of my favourites. It’s great the next day to take in a lunch box or for a picnic. I only came up with the recipe relatively recently because in my mind the only thing I associated wheat with was with a remembrance offering handed out at church to remember those that have passed (it would also include almonds, pomegranate seeds and raisins). The kernels when cooked are soft on the inside but retain a very satisfying defined texture and can take on some seriously strong flavours hence the pairing with lamb. I intentionally put the wheat salad first in the title because it is the star of the plate, which even my meat worshipping husband accepted.
Ingredients – makes 4
Lamb chops or lamb steaks
500g of whole wheat grain
150g of fresh parsley
120g of tomatoes (sun or oven dried)
50g of fresh mint
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of capers
Half a large red onion finely diced
The juice of a lemon
Two pinches of salt
- Boil the wheat in plenty of water for 30-40 minutes until soft but with a little bite.
- While the wheat is boiling finely chop the parsley and mint and roughly chop the capers and tomatoes.
- Place all the ingredients, other than the wheat and lamb, into a big bowl and stir.
- When the wheat is done drain it thoroughly and while it is still hot add it to the bowl with the other ingredients and stir.
- Cover the bowl with cling film. Leave for at least 30 minutes to allow the wheat to absorb as many of the flavours as possible.
- Fry or grill the lamb to your taste and serve with the wheat salad which should now be at room temperature.