I cooked this warm chorizo and chickpea salad at an Ideal Homes Exhibition demo recently and used chorizo from Corndale Farm Charcuterie in Limavady. This business was set up a little over 10 years ago by Alistair Crown and is a fantastic success, having won many awards. All of the meat comes from their own farm. I like this salad with grilled chicken breast, or a piece of cod or hake with some St Tola feta-style cheese. I like to serve it warm, but it would also be good at room temperature.

This bulgur wheat salad is a nice variation on a classic Middle Eastern salad and again is good served warm or cold. We serve bulgur wheat with Thornhill duck in the restaurant. Bulgur wheat needs some flavour added and there is plenty of taste in this recipe. You could add some chopped kale, or dried cranberries. If you don’t grow mint, give it a try. It is so useful and nothing is easier to grow.

Happy Cooking,


Warm chorizo and chickpea salad

Serves four

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

3 red onions, thinly sliced

3 red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced

12 garlic cloves, finely chopped

150ml (¼ pint) cider vinegar

8 x 50g (2oz) raw chorizo sausages, sliced in half lengthways and then cut in half again

2 x 400g (14oz) tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 large handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

1 large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

1 large handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

200g (7oz) feta cheese, chopped

8 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Neven Maguire Warm chorizo and chickpea salad. \ Philip Doyle

1 Heat two tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a pan. Add the red onions, chillies and garlic and cook over a high heat for five minutes, until they are starting to catch, stirring quite frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking.

2 Pour in the vinegar and boil fast for about two minutes or until it has evaporated.

3 Transfer to a large bowl and leave to sit for 15 minutes before giving it another stir. Season to taste.

4 Heat the remaining tablespoon of rapeseed oil in the frying pan and add the chorizo. Fry for a few minutes to release the fats, then add the chickpeas and continue to cook for a few minutes, until the chorizo is cooked through.

Neven Maguire Warm chorizo and chickpea salad. \ Philip Doyle

5 Tip into the onion and chilli mixture in the bowl and toss until combined.

4 Fold the herbs into the salad with the feta cheese and spring onions, tossing until well coated. Season to taste and serve with crusty bread.

Jewelled bulgur wheat salad

Serves four

300g (11oz) bulgur wheat

1 lemon

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

75g (3oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped

50g (2oz) sultanas or raisins

50g (2oz) toasted flaked almonds

3 large ripe tomatoes, deseeded and diced

3 spring onions, thinly sliced

Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves stripped and roughly chopped

Small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves stripped and roughly chopped

Handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for one-and-a-half hours, or according to the packet instructions, until tender, then drain in a sieve and squeeze dry.

2 Place the soaked bulgur wheat in a large salad bowl. Grate in the rind of the lemon, then cut the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice from one of the halves. Stir in the olive oil and season with salt to taste.

3 Fold the apricots into the dressed bulgur wheat with the sultanas or raisins, almonds, tomatoes, spring onions and herbs.

4 Season to taste and set aside for five minutes to allow the grains to swell – the bulgur will soak up all the liquid.

5 Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.

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