March 22, 2011 § 4 Comments
Bulgar? Bulgur? Bulghur? However you spell it, society at large has been hiding this absolutely spectacular whole-grain from me. If you are to believe movies such as The Adjustment Bureau, the men behind the curtains controlling my life have seen to it that bulgur shall never be placed in front of me. Ever. Never had it. Never saw it. Was never even tempted.
That is, until one Sunday morning a few months ago. I was tidying up the house with Food Network on in the background and Ba-Da-Boom Nigella Lawson made a bulgur dish to accompany a Moroccan meal. And if Nigella likes it, well … I gotta give this stuff a try.
Forget for a moment it’s a whole grain and nutritious and etc. It tastes good! It’s got a great consistency! And it plays well with others. In today’s recipe—and yesterday’s, too, actually—bulgur plays really well with lentils. So well, it’s like they are playing doctor, if you know what I mean.
This recipe is from the Moosewood Cookbook. I’ve eaten at the Moosewood, by the way, back in the mid 90s. And it’s true what they say—terrific food, the service coulda been better (they didn’t place my order. At. All. And that was just one of many examples). But, seriously good food. And if you can chop, you can make this stuff.
I made this for the first time Sunday. And my first reaction after tasting was, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I just made this from that stuff??” I’m not kidding you, this stuff is taste on a plate.
A coupla notes: 1) Omit the feta and it’ll be vegan. 2) Serve at room temp – it has better flavor. 3) Stuff it in pita … yum. 4) I didn’t add the olives. I don’t think I had any and I forgot in general. 5) It’s a perfect protein. Oh yeah.
- 1 cup dry lentils (use green!)
- 2 cups water
Put lentils in small saucepan. Add water (and a pinch of salt). Bring to just boiling. Turn heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain well and place in a large bowl.
- 1 cup dry bulgur wheat
- 1 cup boiling water
Place bulgur in a small bowl. Boil a cup of water (microwave is fine) then add it to the bulgur. Give it a swirl. Cover the bowl with a plate. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. That’s it.
Now comes choppin’ time. Add all of this to the lentils:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (I used juice of one lemon)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp freshly minced (or 2 tsp dried) mint (do not skip this!)
- 2-3 tbsp freshly minced (or 2-3 tsp dried) dill
- fresh black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly minced parsley (I broke off a hunk of my frozen parsley)
- 1/3 cup minced red onion
- 1 small bell pepper
- 1/2 stalk celery, minced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup nicoise olives (oops, forgot those)
Stir those around and add the bulgur, too. Now add:
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Fold that around. Give it a taste.
Right? I TOLD you. That’s flavor that’ll make your Greek grandmother weep.