Kibbeh is considered by many to be the national dish of Lebanon. Bulgur wheat is combined with meat, vegetables, fruit or other ingredients to create a hearty, substantial side or main dish. There are endless variations on the theme. This recipe is flexible; if you don't have basil or tomato, just omit them and the dish will still be good.
- 18 ounces sweet potatoes
- 1/2 onion, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cups bulgur wheat, soaked in water for 10 minutes and squeezed out in cheesecloth (muslin)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped, drained sun-dried tomatoes, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup minced basil, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup minced parsley, lightly packed
- Olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking oil spray.
Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and bake them for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Let the potatoes cool slightly, then cut them in half, scoop out the flesh and transfer it a large bowl. Add the onion, paprika, pepper, salt, flour, bulgur wheat, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and parsley and mix well until thoroughly combined.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, pressing it down firmly. Score the top into 8 portions and make a 3/4-inch-wide hole in the center. Drizzle the kibbeh with oil and bake for 1 hour. Let it cool in the pan before cutting.
Adapted from "The Lebanese Kitchen," by Salma Hage (Phaidon, 2012).
Tested by Jane Touzalin.
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