Istanbul, for someone interested in food, is a sensory overload. Street vendors selling buttery chicken pilaf on every corner, window fronts full of baklava dripping with syrup. This salad is inspired by my time working there. It incorporates sweet, savoury and sour flavours to find balance. It works best in summer when stone fruits are abundant, but you can use whatever mix of fruit you like.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 1/2 cups wheat
1 handful crushed pistachios
1 cup diced fruit of your choice. Mixed stone fruit works well. In winter, you can use citrus or dried fruit.
1/2 bunch spring onions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped mint leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
100g feta, crumbled over salad for garnish (optional)
A large pinch of isot, which can be found at Middle Eastern grocers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soak you wheat overnight. This will help with reducing cooking time but also helps to get a better texture in your grain.
The next day, in a large pot combine the wheat with enough water to cover it. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until tender. Drain and let cool.
Toast the pistachios in an oven at 160 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the wheat, pistachios, fruit, herbs, spring onions, herbs, liquids, isot and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve garnished with herbs and feta over the top of the salad.