Cucumber Sorghum Salad | Naturally Ella
I don't think I've ever eaten quite so many cucumbers in the space of a month as this summer in Bulgaria. It's traditional in this country to serve a salad starter at lunch and dinner, which is accompanied by rakia (a strong alcoholic drink made from plums or peaches) and it's the time during which family and/or friends can chat and catch up without being distracted by the main dish - sounds like a good idea, right? What's interesting is that this routine doesn't stop in winter; the salad is instead made up of the veggies that have been carefully preserved over the summer months. Cue roasted red and green peppers, pickled cucumbers and chopped tomatoes with garlic. YUM.
I quickly got used to preparing the typical summer salad consisting of red onion, garlic, tomatoes, cucumber and peppers dressed with oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper - simple yet delicious! And surprisingly it didn't get old for me, maybe because it was so hot every day my body just craved the goodness from all the fresh veggies (which usually came from the grannies' gardens in the village!). I bloody love cucumbers though, and I feel that they are often forced to take a backseat when it comes to salad preparation - tomatoes usually get all the glory in my experience - so when I saw this cucumber sorghum salad recipe by Naturally Ella I felt compelled to make it! I'm a massive parsley fiend too, so once I read the ingredients list I needed no further encouragement to get in the kitchen!
I'd actually never heard of sorghum before and it wasn't a massive surprise to me that I didn't find it in the little local supermarket here, so I substituted it with bulgur wheat which worked just fine for me! I was also really lucky to have a constant supply of homemade cold-pressed sunflower oil which I used instead of olive oil and, wow, the flavour of that came through so well with the cucumbers! The whole thing took minutes to prepare and dish up, and everybody loved it (even the Bulgarian chap who didn't even know he had bulgur wheat in the cupboard!). Ella's entire website, not just her blog, is wonderful (and quite educational if you go to the Stock a Pantry section!). I love her approach to food and cooking, having created many "base" recipes that allow for improvisation in the kitchen and working with what's in season, as well as encouraging a lifestyle that uses leftovers and reduces waste. I expect to try a lot more of her recipes in the near future!