While you wouldn’t know it today, at 77 degrees and sunny, Fall has definitely been in the air lately, and I’ve been craving some real hearty cooking. In an effort, however, not to totally overdose on delicious casserole type dishes (that are far too mixed up in the foods department for my daughter), I’ve been trying on some new dishes. The other night we struck gold, with a totally surprising combination.
I should know by now that there are chefs who can absolutely be trusted when they tell you to put things together that sound strange – Bigg Sis and I have both had our share of culinary suprises in the combination department, but I’m always still a little hesitant behind my curiousity when I see an unusual flavor pairing. I am through withholding trust when Deborah Madison is in charge. Time and time again she has proven that I can trust her implicitly, even if it sounds weird, as it did in this case when her recipe called for both dill and allspice. Hunh? Fresh summery dill with allspice? I didn’t get it, but I’m sure glad I tried it anyway. And we didn’t just LIVE to tell you about it. We LOVED it. Mr. Little Sis dubbed it “company good,” high praise in our house. I’m going to get right down to business here and tell you about this scrumptious little pilaf, then I’m going to show you how we ate ours as the main course. Yummers.
Bulgur Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Cranberries (GF Option) – adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
- olive oil for the pan
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 T chopped fresh dill or 1 t dried
- 1/2 t ground allspice
- 1 c bulgur, rinsed (1 c quinoa for GF option)
- 1 1/4 c water (2 c if using quinoa)
- salt to taste
- 1/3 c dried cranberries (sub out other dried fruit)
- 1/3 c toasted pine nuts (or whatever you prefer)
Warm oil to medium in large skillet or saucepan. Add onion and saute to soft (just a few minutes). Add the garlic and herbs and stir for about 30 seconds. Add bulgur (or quinoa) and a dash of salt and cook for another minute. Pour in water, bring to a boil and lower the heat and cook, covered for about 10 minutes (more like 15 if using quinoa). Stir in cranberries, remove from heat, cover and let stand about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add pine nuts, and fluff again. Beautiful.
AND THEN…. spoon your pilaf onto a waiting baked sweet potato. Oh yes. Heavenly Fall Flavors abound. This was so incredibly good I immediately wished I’d made more sweet potatoes. So be it, the leftover pilaf will be super swell in some baked squash like these. Delish!