An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Cracked Wheat Pilaf

A few years ago, my mom came to visit and we took a trip up to Victoria B.C.  There was a cozy little restaurant called Rebar in the downtown area.  You walk in from the cold outside, and are immediately warmed from the colorful ambiance, small groups of happy people at tables, and the kitchen's busy stovetops and ovens with a mix of homecooked smells.  The food was so memorable at lunch, that during a walk in the afternoon, we decided to go back for dinner.  And then the next day we went back to buy the cookbook!

The following recipe is the first thing I made from the cookbook.  It was one of my first adventures of my New Year's Resolution to make recipes from existing cookbooks.  E and I made it for one of our Tuesday night dinner extravaganzas.  I had recently decided to venture out from my pantry's usual grain staples, and bought bulgur, also know as cracked wheat.  This was a grain I had cooked a small handful of times in my life, solely when making tabouleh.  To go along with the pilaf, we also made chicken stuffed with parsley and garlic butter.  It was a very fulfilling, homecooked meal, reminiscent of Rebar.

This recipe has warm Thanksgiving flavors, so it could be a new addition to the table this year!

Cracked Wheat Pilaf
Adapted from Rebar A Modern Food Cookbook
Makes 4-6 servings

2 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups bulgur, dry
2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 fennel bulb, diced small
1 small red pepper, diced small
1 small zucchini, diced small
2 carrots, diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
2 tsp dried summer savory
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 bunch fresh italian parsley, minced

Heat vegetable stock and keep warm.  Dice the fennel, zucchini, red pepper, carrots and celery into small cubes and set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a medium-sized pot or dutch oven.  Add onion and garlic and saute over low to medium heat until soft and golden.  Add bulgur, 1 tsp salt and bay leaf.  Saute for several minutes to toast the grains until they become aromatic.

Turn up the heat and stir in the diced vegetables and dried summer savory.  Saute for several minutes, then add the white wine.  Let wine absorb and add the warm vegetable stock and the remaining salt.  Bring to a boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 25 minutes, uncover pot and check to see if stock is fully absorbed and bulgur is tender.  If not, cover, and let steam for a few more minutes until cooked and tender.  Fluff with a fork and gently stir in parsley.  Add additional seasoning of necessary.  Spoon into a small bowl.  Place a plate on top of small bowl.  Flip over and release bowl, so that the bulgur is in a nice molded shape on plate.  Add chicken, or fish and salad to make a meal.

No comments: