VDP: Burgul Pilaf with Cauliflower and Zucchini

Wednesday, Thursday March 6, 2008

Burghul with tomato is another traditional Lebanese dish that I ate on a regular basis as a child. The basic recipe is extremely simple, just burgul cooked with onions and tomatoes. That is all good, but to make it a bit more substantial I added some roasted cauliflower and zucchini.

To roast the cauliflower (I did that the night before), I tossed it with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted it in a shallow pan at 450F. Halfway through I turned the florets around to get a nice color on them. That’s a great way to cook cauliflower and to give it an amazing flavor. The zucchini was just sautéed with onions and garlic. Then I added some pureed canned tomatoes, water, the cauliflower and the burgul.I covered it and let it simmer till done.

To serve it, I made a crater in the center of a pile of the pilaf and filled that with homemade yogurt. Last but not least I garnished the dish with a good dose of shredded preserved lemon. The preserved lemon is certainly not Lebanese, it’s a north African ingredient but works so well with so many middle eastern dishes. I make those at home as well. Basically you just layer cut lemons and kosher salt in a jar and you fill the whole thing with lemon juice. A month later, you got awesome preserved lemons. To use them, rinse under water, get rid of the pulp and chop up the rind. The chopped rind will give any dish an instant exotic north African flavor.

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