Wednesday, 21 February 2018

#readcookeat recipe : Lebanese Kibbeh with Fattoush Salad (Fire On The Mountain)

Tomorrow, the Fire On The Mountain blog tour will be stopping off at Madhouse Family Reviews and I'll be sharing my review with you. In the meantime, I decided to use the book as inspiration for the #readcookeat challenge and went looking for foodie references. The story is set in an unnamed African country, which sounded promising, but there aren't that many references to food. I did find one though :

p196 We work hard. There is barely time to go to the street market and sample Lebanese kibbeh or organic Mexican burritos.

Hmmm kibbeh it is then ! After googling it and reading through numerous recipes, I learned that kibbeh is a Middle Eastern version of meatballs. An outer coating of minced meat mixed with bulghur is filled with a mixture of more meat, blended with various combinations of pine nuts, dried fruit and baharat spices. You may remember from my recipe for Duck Breast with Baharat and Pomegranate Molasses that I have a (past its best before date) tub of baharat on my spice rack -  it's a fragrant but not overly spicy blend of black pepper, hot paprika, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg.

 I went rummaging in the cupboards and decided to combine #readcookeat with #KitchenClearout, using up various odds and ends of bags and packets from the baking cupboard, and substituting bulgur for a bag of frik (green wheat, very similar to couscous, that I'd received in a Tunisian-themed Kitchen Trotter box). I also found a recipe for Fattoush Salad, which sounded like the perfect accompaniment, and also helped use up a bag of dried bread pieces, that I'd received in a Spanish-themed box for making gazpacho.

Lebanese Kibbeh with Fattoush Salad 

ingredients :

for the kibbeh :

700g minced meat (beef, lamb, even goat or camel if you want to be authentic !)
1 onion, grated
bulghur (or couscous or frik)
salt, pepper
baharat spice
good handful of pine nuts
good handful of dried apricots or dates
oil for frying

for the fattoush salad :

stale flatbread/pita
oil for frying
pomegranate molasses

First, boil the bulghur/couscous/frik in salted water until cooked, drain and reserve. 

Meanwhile, chop the dried fruit into small pieces and put it in a pan along with the pine nuts, 2 tsp baharat and a drizzle of oil. Cook briefly, so that the fruit starts to caramelise, the pine nuts take on some colour and the spices mingle with everything.

Add 150g (a good handful - yes, get your hands in there, you'll have to in a minute anyway !) of the minced meat and continue cooking until it's gone brown and quite dry. Turn off the heat.

Combine the remaining meat with the bulghur, salt, pepper and the grated onion and use your hands to make sure it's perfectly smooth and blended.

Use your hands to shape oval meatballs with the raw meat mixture. Press your thumb deep inside, stuff with a spoonful of the meat/dried fruit/spice mixture and reseal.

If you want to plan ahead, they can be made in advance and kept in the fridge or freezer until you're ready to use them.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and shallow fry on all sides until cooked through. (Some recipes bake them instead, and I saw a couple that deep fry them, which probably gives the a more uniform appearance.)

Rip up your stale flatbread into pieces (I had little squares of pre-cut dried bread for making gazpacho) and shallow fry it in a glug of olive oil. Sprinkle with sumac (it's a deep red spice which imparts a lovely tangy, zesty, citrus flavour - we brought some home from Turkey). You want the bread to go crispy but not burn.

Add the fried bread to the salad ingredients, toss and drizzle with pomegranate molasses and a bit more sumac. Serve with the kibbeh for a mini Lebanese feast .

Adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky because it used up loads of odds and ends of packets that were cluttering up the cupboards.

Linking up with the #readcookeat challenge over at Chez Maximka.

*** Fancy some more exotic cuisine ? Don't miss my country-by-country globecooking recipe index ***


  1. A feast! So many delicious flavours. I haven't heard of kibbeh, and haven't used frik either. I should resurrect the ReadCookEat linky, hopefully at the beginning of March. :)

    1. Yay, look forward to it :) Although I'm still doing them even without a linky ! lol

  2. Oooh I've never thought of putting fruit in kibbeh yet I love the combo of lamb and apricots so I'm sure I would really enjoy these.
    I must look out for when Galina reintroduces Read Cook Eat and start joining in.

  3. Love the look of these, it looks really tasty with the blend of spices and apricots


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