Herbs in abundance

KATE FRASER has no trouble finding uses for her flourishing herbs.

Was it the snow, the sudden chilling rain or the warm winds? All three have probably contributed to the riot in the herb patch. Mint and parsley are on the march and showing signs of bolting. What to do with all that herbaceous fragrance and brilliant green? A Middle Eastern salad strikes the right note.

Try this:

Tabbouleh is best when made with tomatoes that are sun-warmed and fresh-picked, but add loads of fresh parsley and sweet mint and fool those tastebuds. Tip 200g bulgur wheat (available at many health food stores and speciality food shops as well as a number of supermarkets) into a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to stand for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and deseed two large tomatoes and chop the flesh into smallish dice. Trim and dice 4 whole spring onions, split and deseed 1 green chilli and chop finely. Drain the bulgur wheat through a sieve, pressing the cracked grains against the side of the sieve to squeeze the maximum water out. Return to bowl along with diced tomatoes, onions and chilli. Now chop about 10-12 stalks of leafy mint finely, and about twice that much parsley. Mix to combine all ingredients, then add the zest and juice of 1 large lemon and 100ml of a fruity New Zealand olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper. Toss well to disperse the olive oil through the salad. Good with warm pita breads, cold meats or as a standalone salad.

The Press