Though I am a fan of good old blogs for finding recipe inspiration, another favorite source of mine is the Recipes for Health column written by Martha Rose Shulman which appears in the Health section of the New York Times every Tuesday. The recipes are quite often vegetarian and are inspired by cuisines from all over the world. The recipes make use of a wide variety of vegetables, beans and grains, and rely heavily on herbs and spices for adding flavor.
d ddLast week’s recipe called to me in particular because I had a red cabbage that had been in my fridge for weeks (thank goodness cabbage lasts). Martha specifically said you could use white or red cabbage in the recipe. I am also a fan of any combination of chickpeas, vegetables and grains, so in short, I was excited to make this. You start by sauteeing onion in salt and one tablespoon of paprika. This was more paprika than I had ever used in one dish before. You add the cabbage and let it cook down in a mixture of canned tomatoes and water, after you which you add the bulgur and chickpeas and cook until all the bulgur has absorbed all of the water.
I seasoned the mixture with honey, cider vinegar and dried dill. While the flavoring was nice, the winning factor for me was the combination of textures in this dish. The texture of the cabbage, bulgur and chickpeas played beautifully off one another. I plan to make this dish again using other seasonings. I think it would be great with some Moroccan spices and possibly some chopped dried fruit.
Cabbage With Tomatoes, Bulgur and Chickpeas
adapted from Martha Rose Shulman
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 medium head green or red cabbage, finely shredded
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or 1 tbsp dried
2 cups water
1 cup coarse bulgur
2 cups chickpeas, cooked or 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy lidded skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Stir in a pinch of salt and the paprika. Cook, stirring, until the onion is thoroughly tender and infused with paprika, three to four minutes.
2. Add the cabbage, and cook, stirring, for three minutes or until it begins to wilt. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar, and add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes until the cabbage is thoroughly tender.
3. Stir in the dill and the water, and bring a to a boil. Add the bulgur and chickpeas. Stir to combine. When the water comes back to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer 10 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve hot or at room temperature.
Yield: Serves six.