High-protein bulgur, summer tomatoes and bell peppers.
All those good things come together in this recipe, adapted from cookbook author Faye Levy’s version.
I’m always looking for ways to cook with the fleshy, juicy bell peppers and tomatoes of high summer. How their reds and yellows and greens glow, fairly radiating vitamin C as I stand contemplating them at the shuk. Until another customer elbows me aside, breaking up my meditation. Well, not everyone’s a vegetable geek, I guess.
So I was happy to find Faye’s recipe, which exploits one of my favorite grains, bulgur, together with those good tomatoes and sweet peppers. It calls for a certain amount of harif – chili heat. I used cayenne pepper flakes. I also used coarsely ground bulgur, 3/4 cup of which yielded four generous servings.
Once the bulgur has cooked, you’ll need to place a couple of paper towels over it and clamp the lid back on, over the towels. It’s to absorb excess moisture and ensure that the grain comes up nice and fluffy. I do this with a dish towel for certain rice dishes. My kids call it “shmatta rice.”
The paper towel option is more convenient, though. When you lift the paper towels off the pot, they’ll feel moist, so you know they did the job.
The dish has a homey, tomatoey, comforting flavor and keeps you contented for a long time, without weighing you down and making you sleepy. While summer lasts, and it lasts a long time in Israel, I expect to cook this again often.
To find Faye’s original recipe, which includes a hot pepper paste, follow this link.