Okay, so I didn’t take a picture of this dish. In part I just wanted to start eating. And my other excuse is that this really just isn’t a dish about aesthetics. For all it’s tastiness and whole grains, it just didn’t pop visually. But it did have a really nice, warm Thanksgiving-y taste to it. In fact, with it’s dried fruits and nuts and spices, it struck us as a good alternative to a traditional stuffing. I made a few changes in the recipe, mostly due to last minute accidental missing ingredients…instead of cardamom, I put a sprinkle each of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, which worked fine, though given I’ve never made it the intended way, I’m not sure I’d say it was an improvement. Also, though it says the recipe makes 4 servings, I’d say it’s more like 6-8 if you’re making it as a side dish, as we did.
I was very excited to use up some of the quinoa and bulgur from our grain stockpile. When Dylan first introduced me to Henry’s, a great, mom-and-pop Whole Foods-type store in the San Diego area, we went nuts in the bulk foods section. They had great prices on all sorts of interesting grains and beans and flours and rices. Perhaps we were a little excessive. Let’s just say, nearly a year later, we’re still trying to work through some of it and vegetarian cookbooks seem to be the best resource for these sorts of recipes.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but this recipe is from a favorite cookbook of mine, the first one I ever received as a gift, Betty Crocker’s Great Main Dishes Without Meat. Compared to all of today’s cookbooks with gorgeous photography and trendy, unusual ingredients, this one may seem a little staid or dry, but I’ve actually found a bunch of great recipes in it and there are dozens more I’d like to try but just haven’t got around to yet.
Quinoa and bulgur pilaf (serves 4)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup uncooked bulgur
3.5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
2 cups chopped red cooking apples (about 2 medium)
1 cup dried apricots, cut up
1 cup dried prunes, cut up
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1. Heat quinoa, bulgur and borth to boiling in 2-qt saucepan. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
2. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and apples in oil about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in quinoa mixture and remaining ingredients. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot.