Bulgur and tomato pilaf (Burghul bel-banadoora)

There are still juicy, red tomatoes to be found in neighborhood markets in Beirut these days; this dish uses up a lot of tomatoes, the last of the season. The bulgur  drinks up the tomato juice while cooking and develops a mild, tomato taste and a silky texture. Some people add diced green peppers to the pilaf. 

A great choice for a side dish for a sit-down dinner or a buffet party (stuff one tomato per person); it is normally served in a big bowl but individual portions are more fancy. Plus, you can prepare it in advance. Also good to take to work for lunch!

INGREDIENTS: 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds of red and juicy tomatoes (or a large can of good quality tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups of bulgur
  • 2 onions
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1 green bell pepper (optional)
  • salt, pepper
  1. Cut a cap off the tomatoes and using a serrated spoon (like the ones for grapefruit), empty the contents of the tomatoes. Transfer the tomato flesh to a bowl and dice them. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and flip them onto a cutting board to drain them as much as possible.
  2. Chop the onions and dice the green pepper; heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and fry the onions and pepper till soft, about 10 minutes. Add the bulgur and fry in the oil for a few minutes till all the grains are coated in fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour the tomato juice and more water (as needed) over the grains (about 2 1/2 cups). Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over gentle heat for about 25 minutes. Uncover and taste to adjust seasoning; scoop the pilaf into the tomatoes, place the tomato cap on and serve. This dish can be also served at room temperature.

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  1. verkin10
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Wonderful presentation, this was always served family style in my house.

  2. Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Adoro il burgul e questa presentazione è bellissima!

  3. Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Joumana, this is too beautiful to eat! I would save it and not eat it:)

    The ingredients are so simple and it looks fantastic!

  4. Posted October 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    This looks wonderful, I would love this for a light meal. We still have good tomatoes here in Florida too!

  5. Posted October 14, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    A beautiful, fresh presentation! I would love this as a light supper with a salad.

  6. Posted October 14, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more beautiful looking tomato….AMAZING!

  7. Posted October 14, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    You do know that the french make this with either a rice filling or meat. I love this grain version and would so make a meal out of this. Perfect. I haven’t made stuffed tomatoes in years and now it is about time.

  8. Posted October 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    This is such a pretty dish! I am saving this one for next summer, when fresh, beautiful tomatoes are easy to find.

  9. Posted October 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    One of my favorite dishes.

  10. Posted October 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful dish!!

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