Friday, 29 May 2015

Bulgur & Spinach Pilaf


It's Potluck week again at I Heart Cooking Clubs, and it just so happens that last night I cooked a Diana Henry recipe, so I can join in. It's a bulgur and spinach pilaf, (from her first book, Crazy Water Pickled Lemons) layered up with lovely garlicky labneh, sweet and spicy roast tomatoes and cinnamon-scented frizzled onions. Which you must admit sounds like the most appetising thing in the world.

I confess, I took a few liberties. For one thing, I told Paul I was doing an Ottolenghi. Using Tim Hayward's phrase, we love to Ottoleng. It has become shorthand in our house for very pretty dishes that look beautiful piled up on platters and have lovely contrasting colours, flavours and textural elements. All of which this pilaf fulfils abundantly. But as we were having this conversation via facebook message it was just easier to use the shorthand rather than explain properly.

I committed a few more substantial crimes against the dish too. I was trying to use up a few things before today's grocery delivery, so I used frozen spinach, thawed and drained, instead of fresh. I used crumbled feta instead of making my own labneh. I used halved cherry tomatoes instead of plum. I used frozen chopped mint. So, despite the several processes involved in making it, it ended up coming together as a very useful little meal of pantry and freezer staples. It'd be lovely as a main meat-free dish, but the weather was nice last night so we sat outside drinking red wine while a boned shoulder of lamb, marinated in garlic, oregano and lemon, grilled over charcoal. Very Ottolenghi. Very Diana. Very delicious.

12 comments:

Susan Lindquist said...

I adore Diana Henry's take on food! I go through stages where I take all her cookbooks off the shelf and leave them on my kitchen work island ... then I shop for specific recipes and browse for the next meal the next day and shop for the recipe, et cetera ... so many good dishes to make! You picked a beauty!

Diane Zwang said...

I love the look of this dish. I think you were very smart to use up ingredients on hand. I enjoyed your story about Ottolenghi.

Zosia said...

"Very delicious" is exactly how it looks and sounds to me.

flour.ish.en said...

Now I learn what it means by Ottoleng. A little bit of this, a little bite of that, then explosion of flavors and texture. You are on the right track with this beautiful dish.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Susan - so do I! She so often has a little twist or flavour combination that I just wouldn't have thought of.

Diane - I love to have an empty fridge before more groceries arrive!

Zosia - this is a definite to make again.

Flourish - exactly so!

Joanne T Ferguson said...

This looks absolutely delicious Alicia and glad we are connected through this month's IHCC May Pot Luck! Pinned!

Chaya Selig said...

Hubby can't eat barley but this would probably be delicious with quinoa or rice. Any suggestions?

Kim said...

I'm going to steal the phrase "we're love to Ottoleng." I love it! Diana Henry and Ottolenghi certainly have similar styles. I can see a little of each of them in this dish. Of course, I love the crimes you committed with this dish. At IHCC we love to see how everyone puts their own spin on a dish and/or uses what they have on hand.

This is a truly lovey meal! You've plated in a way that's making my mouth water!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Joanne - thanks!

Chaya - I responded on your Google+ - bulgur is wheat, not barley, but if it is gluten that is the problem rice is absolutely fine. Most pilafs are rice!

Kim - I definitely see similarities in their approach to food!

grace said...

"cinnamon-scented frizzled onions"--that might be the most beautiful combination of words i've seen all year. :)

Joanne said...

I've made something very similar to this pilaf before and it was absolutely lovely!!

Ms Howtheylived said...

That looks so very delicious! The cinnamon makes it sound heavenly! Pilafs are sometimes disappointing to me, but the good ones are amazing -- obviously this is one of the good ones!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...