Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bulgur with spinach and dill

**This is not a gluten-free recipe and was posted before I eliminated gluten from my diet. Millet or quinoa would be a great gluten-free substitute for the bulgur.**

bulgur with spinach and dill, adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
I've been slacking on the cooking and posting lately. It's partly because the weather has been absolutely PERFECT here for the last few days - I played softball today for the first time since October, and had a blast (but can tell that my arm and right side will be sore tomorrow). I've also had several free meals courtesy of my program (entertaining seminar speakers) and spent one day on my couch with a concussion, both of which slowed down the cooking and leftover consumption process. I should be able to do more cooking and posting this week, especially because it looks like it will be colder and rainy almost every day. I did manage to make this easy bulgur dish the other day, though. This is another recipe from the cookbook of the month and, once again, I wasn't disappointed.

Bulgur with spinach and dill (adapted from "Moosewood Restaurant New Classics")

1 tsp olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp hot water
pinch of salt
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp dried dill (or 1/2 Tbsp fresh)
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add onions and garlic, and let soften for a few minutes. Stir in the bulgur, making sure that all of the grains are coated in oil. Add the water and salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 10 min. Then add the spinach and dill, recover the pot, and let cook for another 10 min, until all of the water is absorbed. Serves 2.

I love bulgur, whether it be in bread, a dessert, or a pilaf. One nice thing about it is that it has all of the great nutty and sweet flavor of wheat, but cooks much faster than wheat berries. This was slightly different than what I've made in the past, and was a good change of pace. The flavors are subtle, but are definitely there, and this paired nicely with the Indian skillet black-eyed peas.

For a few days I thought I might have a gluten allergy, and the thought frightened me. Sure, I knew that I could live without gluten because I've discovered a lot of other grains that I love (particularly millet, quinoa, barley, and rice... and oats too, but they can be tricky with the whole gluten issue). In fact, it might have even been a fun challenge to learn to bake with new flours. But, when it's all said and done, I'm really glad I don't have to deal with that because I LOVE wheat in all of its forms. I'm looking forward to trying out even more recipes that involve bulgur.

And now it's time to go back outside to enjoy this incredible day...

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