Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Squash with Bulgar Pilaf 2/28

This dish is my tastiest new discovery this year!  It is packed with flavor and is the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold night.

Squash with Bulgar Pilaf

Cooking time: About 45 minutes, maybe less
Makes about 2 quarts (12 Servings)
This will freeze very nicely - make it once and serve it twice!

$0.77 per serving: Vegan (omit yogurt topping and use olive oil)
$0.90 per serving: Vegetarian
$0.90 per serving: Gluten-free (replace bulgar with rice)

For purely organic incredients, add 25 cents per serving.
  • 1 large butternut squash or equivalently sized pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions plus 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 fresh New Mexico chili, seeded and finely diced (about 1/3 cup)*
  • 3/4 pounds cherry tomatoes (or a 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 3/4 cups bulgar wheat (for gluten-free, use rice instead)
  • 3 cups plain yogurt, drained to 2 cups* (omit for vegan)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
Peel the squash/pumpkin and cut the flesh into 1-inch chunks.  You should have about 2 quarts (8 cups).  This can be done ahead to save time (I pumpkin that I had roasted and frozen in the fall).

In a deep skillet, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add the 3 sliced onions (reserve the copped onions for later) and saute until golden and crisp (about 8-10 minutes).  Drain and set aside.

In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil and the chopped onions.  Stir to coat.  "Sweat" the onions over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.  Add the cubed squash and cook, stirring it to lightly sear it on all sides, for 2 minutes.

Add the chili, tomatoes, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

While the squash/pumpkin mixture is boiling, bring vegetable stock to a boil.  Add bulgar (Gluten-free: replace with equivalent rice), cover the pan, and simmer over very low heat for 15-20 minutes until liquid is fully absorbed.

Add the bulgar/rice to the pumpkin mixture and mix gently but thouroughly.  Let it rest for at least 10 minutes so the grain absorbs some of the juices.

Serve the pilaf topped with yogurt and the sauted onion slices.

Adapted from Mediterranean Cooking, by Paula Wolfert (1994).

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