Friday, July 9, 2010

Pitas Stuffed with Warm Bulgur

I first made this many years ago, and remembered it as being delicious. But I also remembered it as being mildly time-consuming, because you have to halve the grapes in order to make them more bite-sized.

Seriously, Donut? You don't have enough time in your day to sit and slice through 1 1/2 c of grapes? You don't have the 3 minutes to do that, even if it yields such a tasty dish as this? Geesh.

Now that it's 2010, and I have more perspective on what my time is (and isn't) worth, I have to give this recipe four stars. It's just a lovely, lovely rendition of bulgur wheat stuffing -- what many of you may know simply as the grain in tabouli.

Pitas Stuffed with Curried Bulgur and Fruit
Vegetarian Times

1 c bulgur wheat
1 tsp sweet curry powder (it will say "sweet" on the label)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c scallion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 c dried cranberries, or golden raisins (I use 1/4 c of each)
1 yellow or red pepper, diced
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 c cucumber

In medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 c water to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in bulgur and let sit, covered, until tender -- about 10-15 minutes.

Before soaking:

After soaking:

Transfer bulgur to a large bowl. Add curry powder, balsamic vinegar, garlic, scallions, grapes, cranberries (and raisins), and bell pepper. Toss well.

The original recipe called for the bulgur combination to be heated on the stove before stuffing into the pita. I don't find that necessary at all. I just combine, fridge, and pull out as needed.

When it's time to assemble, gather together our bread, filling, lettuce, feta, and cucumbers (which I forgot):

Stuff into freshly made pitas. (Serving on classic Bootonware plates is optional, but is included here just to make my brother jealous. And to see if he is still reading.)

In fact, after an initially yummy Fourth of July dinner (because, really, what doesn't say Patriotism during a war more than a dinner inspired by Middle Eastern food?), I turned these into packable lunches -- with a slight tweak, you can turn this into a lovely main course salad. To do so, use the pita as soft croutons by tearing into bite-sized chunks and toss on top of the salad as a garnish.

As noted in another posting, to prepare this as a packable lunch, I would bake a fresh pita every morning. (This was not time-consuming, since the dough had been prepared in advance.)Then, I would pack lunch containers for my salad greens, bulgur wheat mix, and feta.

Assemble the salad at work, and the top with torn pieces of the pita bread. It's just delicious!

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