I feel very fortunate to be able to escape from the hustle-bustle and super charged atmosphere of Beirut into the mountains every weekend; there, only 35 minutes away at 3000 feet altitude, lies a peaceful town surrounded by nature. After spending some time with a seasoned farmer who offered to show me where to find ( and forage) wild zaatar, I got home and realized that there was no food in the house save for some red lentils and a bit of bulgur. Thankfuly the onions were right there in the garden and I snatched a few. This dish is the result.
- 3 green onions, chopped including green tops (or 1 large onion)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (3 tbsp)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1/2 cup coarse bulgur (#3 or 4)
- Spices: Salt, dash of black pepper, 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste or tomato paste
- 1 cup of chopped fresh herbs ( I used dill and zaatar and parsley)
Salah is picking zaatar from a field nearby.
1. Heat the oil in a soup pot; drop the chopped scallions and fry for 2 minutes; add the bulgur and stir to coat with oil; add the red lentils, the spices (less the salt) and the red pepper paste and pomegranate molasses and 3 cups of water with the bouillon cube; cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the bulgur and lentils are done. Uncover, add the salt to taste and the fresh chopped herbs and serve.
NOTE: This dish tastes even better after a day or two.