Tahini-Roasted Broccoli over Rasin-Studded Bulgar

This is a recipe that I got from the January 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times.  I’ve made this many times and we never get tired of it.  Fresh lemon juice really makes this recipe something special.  I’ve used the bottled stuff, and it will do, but it’s not the same.  I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly according to my taste.  The key is to add extra lemon juice over the top of your portion just before serving.

There may be a couple of ingredients here that you don’t recognize, but I urge you to try this.  Tahini is a creamy paste made from sesame seeds.  It is very high in calcium and contains B vitamins.  You can find it at Wal-Mart on the condiment aisle, at Whole Foods, or at Publix on the international foods aisle.  You may know it as one of the key ingredients in hummus.  It runs between $6-7, but will last for a long time in the fridge. 

The other star ingredient that you’ve probably never used is bulgar.  It’s basically cracked wheat.  It has a lot of protein and fiber, but is low in fat and calories.  I can’t find this anywhere except Whole Foods.  It runs about $1/lb.  If you don’t have a Whole Foods near you, try a local health foods store.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons grape seed oil (or other high heat oil – not olive oil)
1 cup bulgar
1 1/2 lbs (6 cups) broccoli
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 – 2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Toss the broccoli with the grape seed oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine the bulgar, 1 1/2 cups veg broth, tomato paste, and raisins and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes.  If the liquid runs out before the bulgar is done, add in the extra broth a little at a time, as needed.  I generally keep the bulgar mixture covered for about half of the cooking time and then I tilt the lid for the rest of the time to let some of the liquid cook off.

While the bulgar and broccoli are cooking, start making your sauce by heating the teaspoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Saute the garlic for about a minute.  Stir in 1/3 cup water and the tahini and simmer 1-2 minutes or until thick.  The mixture will look a little like lumpy hummus.

Stir the fresh lemon juice into the sauce.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and combine it with the bulgar mixture and tahini sauce.  Plate and drizzle more fresh lemon juice over each portion.  This really adds something extra to the flavors.  YUM!

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