Hippies’ zucchini, nuts & burghul

Hippies’ zucchini, nuts & burghul

A Year of Practiculture
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

‘Don’t try to feed me that hippie shit.’ That’s what I used to say in my head years ago when I’d go to someone’s place and there’d be anything ‘weird’ on offer. I was such a douchebag foodist. My food ignorance is what held me back for so many years. I had to work really hard on my tolerance and acceptance of different foods, but that was way back when and these days I’m a sponge for food diversity. ‘Pass the burghul salad’, ‘More quinoa, please’, ‘Is that hummus?’ have all come from my mouth at one point or another. If my old Macca’sloving self could see me now, he’d probably throw the unwanted cheeseburger pickles in my face.

Zucchini are one of those vegetables I recommend people grow when they’re starting out raising food in their backyard. It’s a fast-growing crop that’s as giving as Mother Teresa. Almonds, on the other hand, take a bit more patience and work to get a decent crop, but with a little perseverance you can get a few good baskets of these delicious nuts from your own backyard, or someone else’s backyard in my case. See, years ago I got far too excited with converting my city backyard into a food bowl and planted too many fruit and nut trees. After one season of mega-growth, I had to accept that I had in fact gone overboard. A workmate with a country pad offered some space in his large orchard for me to relocate some of my trees. He even promised not to eat any of the produce. What a guy!

I no longer work that office job, but every year I return to my friend’s orchard, catch up over a cuppa and pick some produce from my trees. Right next to my almond tree at this orchard sits an olive tree I bought for my friend when his father died. For some reason I get very emotional when I see how much the olive tree has grown. I never met his father, but I’m glad there’s a tree living and well to mark his existence on this earth. See, I am a damn hippie. This salad is perfect for me. I might buy a kombi and start wearing tie-dye.


Quantity Ingredient
2-3 garden-fresh zucchini
60ml olive oil
80g almonds
2 garlic cloves, crushed
175g burghul, cooked according to the packet instructions
hearty handful parsley
small handful mint
1 lemon, zest grated, juiced
sumac, to taste
goat’s feta, to serve


  1. Preheat the barbecue grill to high. Cut the zucchini into lengthways strips. Drizzle with half the olive oil and toss to coat. Cook the zucchini on the barbecue until soft.
  2. Either roughly smash or chop the almonds and toast them in a hot dry frying pan over medium heat until they start to colour.
  3. In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the remaining olive oil (a glug).
  4. When the zucchini are cooked, transfer them to a mixing bowl with the burghul. Chop the parsley and mint (reserving a few leaves of each as a garnish), then add to the zucchini and burghul with the almonds, lemon zest and juice, and garlic olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle with sumac, garnish with the reserved mint and parsley, and serve with a generous helping of crumbled feta while burning sandalwood incense.
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