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Yogi British Summer

HEALTHY SUMMER SALAD: grilled courgette, broccoli, halloumi and bulgur wheat

I'm enjoying an ascetic and mildly hermit-like lifestyle in idyllic Wiltshire where I'm performing a show for a couple of weeks. My 'digs' are an EXTREMELY comfortable converted studio in the grounds of some impossibly beautifully gardens looking over the Bath. It's delightfully quiet, if I can just manage to block out the noise of heavy machinery wafting each morning from the army of gardeners. Eden comes at a price.

There has been a lot of RAIN, which slightly puts a dampener on plans for charming countryside walks, canal-side bike rides and pub garden lunches. It has meant I've had a lot of marvellous me time, including plenty of visits to the local farm shop and daily yoga sessions in my spacious studio. This week I'm even hosting yoga retreats for fellow, rain-forlorn cast members. Yesterday ClT came over for a very zen yoga session, followed by a home cooked, locally grown yogi dinner.

Unsurprisingly for a sporadically occupied studio, I'm working with LIMITED kitchen facilities and no larder (I'm SO looking forward to tackling DS' birthday cake this weekend). But, with such wonderful, fresh, local produce to hand, you don't need much. Here is a super simple, summery light meal, easy to whip up and full of goodness. You don't HAVE to do the yoga before but you'll feel oh so virtuous if you do.

Grilled yellow courgettes, sprouting broccoli, bulgur and British halloumi salad

Serves 2, takes 15 minutes

salad / main / easy peasy / nothing fancy / detox / ready in a jiffy / summer / vegetarian

Sure, you might not be able to get your hands on yellow courgettes or baby sprouting broccoli. You can use the regular kinds of both. This packs perfectly into a portable lunch or a picnic salad.

* Bulgur wheat - 1 cup

* Courgettes (yellow or green) - 2 regular sized or 4 small

* Olive oil - a couple of glugs

* Sprouting broccoli - a couple of handfuls

* Halloumi - 4 generous slices

* Lemon - juice of 1/4

* Dried apricots - a handful, roughly chopped

* Fresh basil - a handful, roughly chopped

* Flaked almonds - a handful

Preheat the grill of the oven.

Place the bulgur wheat in a small saucepan with 2 cups lightly salted water and cook according to the packet instructions (cooking times vary). Use a timer, as you'll be busy doing other things. Leave covered with a tea towel, off the heat, for a couple of minutes at the end of the cooking time as this will help to make the grains nice and fluffy.

Meanwhile, slice the courgettes lengthways into slices about 1cm thick. Lay on a large baking tray (leave some space for the broccoli), season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place under the grill for about 10 minutes or until golden brown, turning once.

Meanwhile, simmer the broccoli in a pan of lightly salted water for a couple of minutes until just cooked through. Drain and add to the baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil. Return to the grill for a few minutes, to colour slightly.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, with a drizzle of olive oil. Fry the slices of halloumi for a couple of minutes on each side, until they are golden brown.

Add a drizzle of olive oil, the lemon juice, apricots, basil and almonds to the bulgur wheat. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Divide the bulgur between two plates and top with the courgettes, broccoli and halloumi. Enjoy immediately or at room temperature.


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