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Recipe Friday: Bulgur Pilaf with Lentils and Vermicelli

Posted on: August 13, 2010

Don’t let the name fool you—this is a blockbuster recipe. The caramelization of the sugars in the tomato paste and the onions provide a wonderful rich sweetness. (You’re also sneaking in whole grains from the bulgur and folate from the lentils.)

When (not if, when!) you try this, cook the lentils ahead of time. Don’t make the same mistake I did, and quickly cook them along the way! (Nothing bad happened, it just turned into one big rush.)

(slightly tweaked) Bulgur Pilaf with Lentils and Vermicelli
from How to Cook Everything

4 tbsp butter or olive oil (I cut back a little, but it needs the lubrication)
1 large onion, chopped
½ c vermicelli, broken into 2 inch long or shorter lengths (I used capellini)
1 c fine or medium grind bulgur
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 c cooked lentils
1 tsp minced garlic
2 ¼ c chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, heated to the boiling point

1. Put butter or oil in a medium skillet or saucepan with a lid over medium heat. When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the vermicelli (or other pasta) and the bulgur and cook, stirring, until the pasta is lightly browned, less than 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the tomato paste, lentils, garlic, and the stock. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and let sit until the bulgur is tender, about 15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

Fast, easy, and can be made vegan as well! It may not read like an exciting recipe, but this one’s a winner!!!

2 Responses to "Recipe Friday: Bulgur Pilaf with Lentils and Vermicelli"

I am so excited about this recipe!!!!

Awesome! I hope I got the point across… it’s yummy! Mark’s version (in the book) said the tomato paste was optional, but I can’t imagine it being an option!!! It’s part of what makes the dish!

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