June 29, 2011

Bulgur Pilaf with Cabbage

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the small head of cabbage in the CSA bag. I normally don't like cabbage and I don't have much experience with it. I pulled out Chez Panisse Vegetables and found what sounds like a great recipe for Warm Cabbage, Onion, and Apple Slaw, but alas, I had no apples and was too lazy to go to the grocery, so I decided to see what Mark Bittman had to suggest. I found Bulgur Pilaf with Cabbage, Lebanese Style, one of the variations of his recipe for Bulgur Pilaf with Vermicelli in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this dish. Because I added the cabbage at the end, it retained its crunch, which was a nice contrast to the chewy bulgur and the soft onion. While eating this, I couldn't help but think it would be infinitely better with ground pork! Next time!

Bulgur Pilaf with Cabbage, Lebanese Style
From Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick unsalted butter)
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped (I used my one CSA sweet onion)
1 cup bulgur (I used Bob's Red Mill)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I used a little more, because I wanted to use up the tube that has been hanging out in my fridge for too long)
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth, heated to boiling point (I used about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 teaspoons pickling spice (Bittman's recipe for pickling spice includes cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, red chiles, mustard seeds, allspice berries, cloves, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds and dill seeds. I was not about to make a pickling spice for this dish, so I threw in a shake each of ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, and ground ginger and threw in a bunch of fresh cilantro.)
a squeeze of lemon juice (I used white wine vinegar)
dash of Worcestershire sauce
handful of chopped cilantro leaves

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the bulgur and cook, stirring, until coated with the butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the tomato paste, and the boiling stock. Stir and add whatever spices you are using. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the cabbage, the lemon juice (or vinegar), the Worcestershire sauce and the cilantro leaves. Taste for seasoning.

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