Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Herb roasted vegetables and bulgur pilaf

From this week: rosemary, sage

From weeks past: carrots, parsnips, mushroom broth, bulgur

Staples: butter, olive oil, salt, onion

There's snow in the forecast. A lot of snow (for Richmond, at least), and I can't wait. It doesn't take a lot for me to feel celebratory: a good day at work, the end of a bad day at work, a pretty nail polish color, a two-night Lifetime special starring Lucy Liu. For me, the mere chance of snow is plenty reason to pop the bubbly. Literally.

(Weird that I'm drinking champagne alone? Maybe. Shout out to my dad for facilitating my parties for one by sending me back to Richmond last weekend with three bottles of champagne.)

Since it was a celebration, I felt entitled to cook myself a delicious snow-inspired meal, despite the double leftovers in my fridge. And I'm really proud of myself because, for the first time in my frugal cooking career, I was clever enough to make a small amount of this dish; just enough for this meal, plus one more. Another reason to celebrate! Go me!

This has the warm, wintry feeling I was going for last week with my disastrous attempt at root vegetable stew, but it's even better. I don't know if I'm seasonally accurate, but the stars of this dish - root veggies, rosemary, and sage - scream winter to me. Combined with nutty bulgur, they are warm and soothing without being too heavy. Kind of like oatmeal, but not sweet, or mushy, or dense, or bland. So not really like oatmeal at all....

Anyway, carrots and parsnips have complex enough flavors that the dish has a lot of depth with only three real flavoring agents - onion, sage, and rosemary. And roasting the vegetables not only makes them super tasty, but also softens them up enough to make them the perfect textural contrast to the grainy bulgur.

Hopefully, if the frigid temps aren't enough to make tomorrow a snow day to remember, my dinner is. A snow dance in a pot.

Herb roasted vegetables and bulgur pilaf
Makes 2 servings

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tbsp butter
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves, divided
2 tsp chopped fresh sage leaves, divided
1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup mushroom broth
1 tsp salt, divided

Preheat oven to 350. Toss together 1 tbsp olive oil, carrots, parsnips, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp rosemary, and 1 tsp sage on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until soft and lightly browned, about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil and butter in a pot over medium heat. Sautee onion until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add bulgur and remaining herbs and toast, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add mushroom stock and remaining salt to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Toss together cooked bulgur and roasted vegetables and serve warm.


  1. Rebecca, KUDOS to you for making proportioned portions! Growing up cooking for a family of six, I always ending up making WAY more food than I need for one (and sometimes two). Lucky for me, I have a bunch of roommates who are more than happy to eat the fruits of my labor.

    Seasonal, inexpensive ingredients, and delicious--what's not to love about this dish?

  2. Ah, the sweet flavor of roasted veggies in the winter . . . there's nothing like it. I'd also like to add that even though I've never eaten or made bulgur, all of a sudden I'm craving it. It's the power of food photography. =)

  3. Thanks, Jenna. You should definitely try it; I'm a huge bulgur proponent! It's chewy and tender and warm and nutty and yummy. And it's better for you (and much tastier) than brown rice!

    If only there was a National Bulgur Council... I could be their spokesperson.