Summer Tomatoes Maftoul Salad
Similar to couscous of Morroco and mughrabieh of Lebanon the Palestinian version is called maftoul. Maftoul is made of bulgur wheat, whole grains that are parboiled, dried in the sun, then cracked, and hand rolled in durum flour. This process is long and time consuming but it gave the maftoul its name. As the word maftoul in Arabic means "rolled". These practices are common among Palestinian women, and products like this are essential in the Palestinian pantry.
Traditionally maftoul is served as a hearty stew that's perfumed with cinnamon, cardamom, and other spices, and then layered with chickpeas, onions, and succulent chicken that's been simmering in the spice broth. Although nothing beats maftoul its one of my favorite fall dishes but today I made a light summer maftoul dish using the seasons freshest ingredients tomatoes and mint.
This fresh summer maftoul dish is perfect on its own or as a side dish. It’s packed with fresh flavors and celebrates one of the summer's star ingredients “the juicy tomatoes”. Once the tomatoes are roasted and charred they become almost jamy and sweet. Top the dish with creamy salty feta, halloumi or nabulsi cheese crumbles, & fresh crisp mint. This dish is perfect warm or at room temperature, good for a picnic or served with grilled chicken or fish.
Total Time: 45 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
4 cups (2 pints) cherry tomatoes, vine tomatoes cut in half
1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups maftoul prepared according to package instructions
⅓ - 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese or nabulis cheese
2 tbls toasted pine nuts to garnish
Juice of one lemon
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh mint; stems removed and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
To roast the tomatoes :
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a baking dish combine the tomatoes with 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and the 3 garlic cloves (don’t peel). Toss together to combine.
Roast for 30 minutes (the time will depend on the size and juiciness of the tomatoes). Roast, tossing once, until tomatoes are blistered and begin to slightly burst, 25 -30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the maftoul according to package instructions. Fluff with a fork.
Squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves and finely chop them. If you are using vine tomatoes give them a rough chop. In a salad bowl or a platter combine the tomatoes and their juices, garlic, add lemon juice, and the maftoul. Toss to combine adjusting the seasoning. Add fresh mint, feta cheese and pine nuts. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil on top.
Serve warm or at room temperature.