Hello, hello!!! Life has been cRaZy over the last month! I only had time to make clean, simple food that required minimal cooking, and used tried and true recipes (i.e. cauliflower soup). On the plus side, it definitely helped my waistline 🙂
I am back with a vegetarian recipe for bulgur pilaf from Living Well website. This recipe is very versatile and a good base for your imagination. As always, I adapted the original recipe slightly: I used red and yellow bell peppers, left out scallions, and didn’t use any stock. I have three words of advice of you: very large pan! 🙂
- 1 cup bulgur, preferably coarse
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound eggplant*, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (optional)
- 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
*If you’re using large, common globe eggplant, which can be more bitter than other varieties, salting beforehand can reduce bitterness. To salt: Place prepped eggplant in a large colander over a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon salt. Top the eggplant with a plate weighted down with cans. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using. Rinse well with cold water, then dry with paper towels.
Place bulgur in a large deep bowl, add enough warm water to cover by 2 inches, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain if needed and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant. Do not stir for the first minute; then cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Push the eggplant to the sides, making a well in the middle for the other ingredients.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the middle of the pan. Add onion, scallions, bell pepper, carrot and garlic. Do not stir for 2 minutes; then mix all the ingredients, including the eggplant, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Make a well in the ingredients again and add tomato paste to the middle. Do not stir for 30 seconds; then turn the tomato paste over and cook for another 15 seconds. Add the drained bulgur, oregano, salt and pepper; stir well to combine. Heat through. If the eggplant is not completely tender, stir in broth, cover the pan and simmer until the eggplant reaches your desired tenderness. Remove from the heat; stir in parsley (or cilantro).