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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Israeli Bulgur, Chickpea and Veggie Bowl

Last night's dinner experiment was a success!

I should point out that the 20% of the time that my experiments don't work, it's not because they taste bad, it's usually that they are bland or not exciting, for my tastes. You really should not be afraid to experiment in the kitchen, that is often how wonderful discoveries occur!

I realize that those of you in less cosmopolitan places than Toronto may not be able to find "Amba", but you could easily substitute mango chutney, abricot jam, (and omit the pomegranate molasses or other sweetener) or simply puree a mango with about 2 tbls cider vinegar. Remember that recipes are just a guide, and you always have the freedom to adjust to what you have available and to your own personal tastes.

1.5 cups medium bulgur
2.5 cups water
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 small zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 red bell peppers, cut into quarters
1 onion, cut into chunks
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
4 tbls red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbls pomegranate molasses (or honey or agave syrup)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
4 tbls Amba (or other options mentioned above)
1 cup plain yogurt
Dash cayenne pepper (optional)

Optional: Chopped green onions, fresh mint and/or parsley

Toss veggies with oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Either grill until tender, or roast in the oven on baking sheets for about 30-40 minutes. Place water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in Bulgur, turn off heat and cover. Allow the water to absorb (10 or so minutes) and set aside.

While veggies and bulgur is cooking, prepare dressing. Whisk together all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Adjust sweeteness, and seasoning to taste.

When veggies are cool enough to handle, roughly chop. Use a fork to transfer bulgur to large serving dish, making sure to seperate grains. Add chickpeas and stir in sauce. Mix in veggies and green onions and/or fresh herbs (if using). Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 as a main course meal or 6-8 as a hearty side dish.