A version of this salad recently appeared in the British GoodFood Vegetarian Summer magazine 2010. If you’re vegan, just leave out the feta at the end.
The ingredients list in the original calls for 2 x 200g tubs of hoummous. I used my favourite hoummous recipe from the Café Flora Cookbook by Catherine Geier with Carol Brown (p. 30).
2 cups cooked chickpeas, juice of one lemon, 4 tbsp tahini, 4 garlic cloves (peeled), 1/4 tsp toasted, ground cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp paprika, salt
Whizz in TMX or food processor and add a little water if the consistency is too thick. Season to taste and pile into a large glass bowl and spread out evenly. Drain one 400g tin of chickpeas, rinse and drain again. Plonk on top of hoummous and spread out evenly. Drizzle over a little olive oil.
Now prepare the tabbouleh for the layered salad. Tip 85g bulghar wheat into a saucepan and add water to cover, add salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Drain, rinse under cold running water, then drain again. (You can also use buckwheat groats for this which need about the same cooking time, just check that they are tender).
Chop up 80g mint and 80g flatleafed parsley. Chop up 2 large ripe, deseeded tomatoes and mix with the herbs. Add one finely chopped red onion. Zest and juice one lemon. Mix juice and zest with 4 tbsp olive oil and stir into tabbouleh. Spoon the tabbouleh onto the hoummous/chickpeas and spread evenly without disturbing the other two layers. Add 200g of cubed feta as a topping along with a handful of black olives. Cover the bowl with its lid or clingfilm and chill the salad for up to 24 hours. Before serving you can tear some crisp Romaine lettuce to top the salad and sprinkle with a little olive oil. The salad is scooped onto plates and it’s important to make sure that everyone gets a bit of each layer. One guest at the last party I held mixed the layers and that seemed to work as well.
This has been a big hit at barbecues and buffets and is usually one of the first salads to disappear.