BULGUR PILAF WITH DRIED FRUIT
Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking
by Beverly Lynn Bennett & Ray Sammartano
Toasted sesame oil and pine nuts give this bulgur dish a lightly smoky flavor, while the dates and currants add a touch of sweetness.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 to 25 minutes plus 10 to 15 minutes for rehydrating bulgur
Serving size: 3/4 cup
Yield: 5 or 6 servings
• 3 TB. raw pine nuts
• 1 medium leek (white and pale green part only), cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
• 2 TB. plus 2 cups vegetable broth or water
• 3 tsp. toasted sesame oil
• 1½ cups bulgur
• 1/2 tsp. sea salt
• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup date pieces
• 1/4 cup dried currants
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 2 TB. chopped fresh mint
• 1 TB. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. In a large saucepan over low heat, cook pine nuts, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer toasted pine nuts to a small bowl, and set aside.
2. Place leek, 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, and 1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil in saucepan, and stir well to combine. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until leek is soft and lightly browned. Add remaining 2 cups vegetable broth, and bring to a boil.
3. Place bulgur in a very fine-mesh strainer and rinse well under running water. Add bulgur to the saucepan, along with salt and black pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add date pieces and currants. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes or until bulgur is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Fluff bulgur with a fork to loosen grains.
5. Add parsley, toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, and remaining 1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil, and mix lightly to combine. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.
Variation: If leeks aren't available, substitute 1½ cups green onions, thinly sliced.
Thyme-ly Tip: Leeks' many layers seem to capture dirt, so be sure to thoroughly wash them. Cut them as desired, place the cut pieces in a bowl of water, vigorously move them around, and lift them out into a colander. Repeat as needed (using clean water each time) until no more dirt appears in the bottom of the bowl.