It would be safe to say that, after several days of dipping my hand into the overflowing jellybean bowl, indulging in warm Hot Cross Buns, and snacking on leftovers of Easter ham and three-cheese scalloped potatoes, my waistline was ready for a healthy meal. Easter foods, in all their glory, leave something to be desired when it comes to proper nutritional value. Perhaps the only one who avoids the tight-pant trap is the Easter Bunny himself, who chooses to nibble on such foods as lettuce, carrots, and celery. Well, he also probably took a few nibbles of the chocolate eggs that my two boys left him with their carefully written notes. (“Dear Easter Bunny, Easter is one of my favorite holidays…”)
When the fragrance of ground coriander and cumin wafted through the kitchen, I was reminded of the Crockpot Gingered Chickpeas and Spicy Tomato Stew. The intoxicating aroma translated into a side dish rich in complimentary flavors and textures, courtesy of sweet currants, nutty bulgur, and toasted pine nuts. As my husband mentioned, it would work well as a side dish to pork tenderloin, steaks, or chicken. This recipe is inspired by one in Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I changed the spices to suit my cravings of the moment.
Bulgur is traditionally used Middle Eastern dishes, such as tabbouleh salad. This hearty whole grain is loaded with nutrients – 8.2 grams fiber and 5.6 grams protein per 1 cup of bulgur, to be exact. It is commonly found in well-stocked supermarkets, by the rice and couscous, and Middle Eastern groceries.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 medium onion, diced and 1 garlic clove, minced, 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander and 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup bulgur and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook for an additional minute.
Add 1 1/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 1/3 cup currants (raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries could also be used), and re-cover. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and stir in 2 sliced green onions and 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts. Serve.
The Perfect Pantry’s Bulgur with Cheese & Eggplant
Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Bulgur Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, Mint & Lemon
101 Cookbooks’ Bulgur, Celery & Pomegranate Salad
Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska’s Red Lentil & Bulgur Soup with Lemon & Mint
Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking’s Bulgur Upma
Spiced Bulgur Pilaf with Pine Nuts & Currants
Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup bulgur, rinsed
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup currants (raisins, dried cranberries, or dried cherries could be substituted)
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic clove, coriander and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add bulgur and salt, and cook for an additional minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in currants, and re-cover. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and stir in green onions and pine nuts. Serve.