Saturday, February 2, 2008


I have been trying to cook more, with all of our fun new equipment. My goal is to come up with 5-10 good veggie dishes to make for Dirk. This isn't the most colorful recipe I've ever made, but was really good - I used cous cous because they didn't have bulgar in the market downstairs, and finishing it off with the Greek yogurt was perfect.

4 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch of cayenne or a tiny squeeze (about 1/4 teaspoon) of chili pepper paste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
1 1/4 cups coarse-ground bulgur
6-8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, halved and thickly sliced

In a large, heavy pot, bring the stock to a boil. Stir in the tomato paste and all spices except the salt and pepper, then add the lentils. Simmer, with the lid on, for about 15 minutes or until the lentils are almost tender.

Taste, and add salt and pepper if desired (you probably won’t need the salt if you’ve used a pre-prepared stock). Stir in the bulgur, put the lid back on, and cook over very low heat for another 10-15 minutes. Check it; if it seems dry, add a splash of water. Put the lid back on, remove from heat, and let the pot sit for another 10 minutes or so, after which time the bulgur should be tender and nicely plumped. Stir in 5 tablespoons of the olive oil (I occasionally stop at 3 if the bulgur is very moist.)

As your stock is coming to the boil, get started on the onions. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and fry over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often, until they’re very brown. Turn the heat up towards the end to caramelize the onions.

Serve the lentils and bulgur topped with the onions and accompany, if you like, with thick Greek yogurt. The dish may be served hot or cold.

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side dish.

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