This tasty, filling summer dish can be served as a vegetarian main course, an appetizer or a light lunch.
Coarsely ground bulgur is available at Middle Eastern markets and some health food/organic stores.
Servings: 6 - 8
- For the sauce
- 2 cups regular or low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 or 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Sea salt
- For the zucchini and bulgur
- 5 medium zucchini, rinsed (about 2 1/4 pounds)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 or 5 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cubanelle peppers, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup coarsely ground bulgur (see headnote)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint, for garnish
For the sauce: Combine the yogurt, garlic (to taste) and salt in a small bowl; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the zucchini and bulgur: Use a vegetable peeler to make long shallow stripes on each zucchini, then cut the vegetables lengthwise into 4 equal pieces. Cut each piece crosswise into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic (to taste) and peppers; stir to coat evenly, then cook for 5 or 6 minutes, stirring constantly, just until crisp-tender. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and mix to incorporate, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, then remove from the heat.
Arrange half of the zucchini pieces in a large skillet, skin sides down. Pour half of the onion-tomato mixture evenly over them and then top with the remaining zucchini pieces, also placed skin sides down. Cover with the remaining onion-tomato mixture.
Sprinkle the bulgur evenly over the top, then add the warm water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool (covered) for 30 minutes so the bulgur can absorb the liquid.
Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the parsley, dill and mint. Serve with the yogurt sauce passed at the table.
Adapted from "The Turkish Cookbook," by Nur Ilkin and Sheilah Kaufman (Interlink, 2010).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.