Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mediterranean Feast

Having fly-infested barley makes barley tabbouleh kind of unappetizing so I got some bulgur to try to make it traditional and flyless. The package told me to get Bulgur #1 for tabbouleh (I wonder what kind of Mediterranean dish #18 Bulgar is used for) and I trust packages of bulgur so I did.

1/2 cup bulgur #1
1 cup hot water
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small shallot
1/2 hothouse cucumber, diced
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
a few leaves fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Put the bulgur in a large bowl and pour in the hot water. Cover with a dish or plastic wrap and let stand for about 30 to 45 minutes to rehydrate. Drain if necessary.

In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, shallots, cucumber, parsley, and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bulgur, lemon juice and olive oil. Fold everything together. Refrigerate for a while before serving.

Adapted from Tyler

Red Pepper Hummus
1 red pepper
olive oil for sauteing
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup tahini
3 lemons, juice
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1/8-/1/4 cup olive oil
chopped parsley

Saute the red peppers. Combine all the ingredients except the parsley in a food processor. Adjust seasonings and fold in parsley. Serve with baked pita triangles.

Stuffed Grape Leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup long-grain rice
1 cup broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoons finely chopped dill leaves
1/8 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
15-20 grape leaves
1 lemon, juiced

To make the filling, coat a large saute pan with 1/8 cup of the oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion and lemon zest and stir until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the rice, saute for 2 minutes, stirring to coat. Pour in just 1/2 cup of the broth. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes, adding more broth if necessary. Add the lemon juice and tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Scrape the parboiled rice mixture into a bowl and add the dill and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool. While it's cooling, drain the grape leaves and carefully pull them apart. Put them into a bowl and cover them with cold water. Let them soak until you are ready to roll.

To assemble, lay a grape leaf on a work surface, shiny-side down. Put 1-2 tablespoons of the rice filling near the stem end of the leaf. Fold the stem end over the filling, then fold both sides toward the middle, and roll up. Squeeze lightly in the palm of your hand to secure the roll. Repeat with remaining grape leaves and filling.
Place the dolmades in a wide deep skillet, seam-side down in a single layer. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of broth, remaining olive oil, and the lemon juice over the stuffed grape leaves. The liquid should reach halfway up the rolls.
add some water if necessary. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Serve at room temperature or cool.

Adapted from Tyler

This isn't a how-to video. It's too fast and this was my first time making them.

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