Jane’s Kitchen: Eggplant Bulgur Pilaf


Servings: 6 


1 cup coarse bulgur (Bob’s Red Mill is USA-grown) 

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or sunflower oil), divided 

1 pound eggplant, peeled and diced, salted and drained if desired (see tip below)

1 medium onion, diced 

1 bunch scallions, chopped 

1 medium green bell pepper, diced 

1 large carrot, peeled and shredded 

2 large clove garlic, minced 

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

3/4 teaspoon salt 

freshly ground pepper, to taste 

1/2 cup vegetable broth, optional 

1 cup parsley or cilantro, chilled 


Place bulgur in a large deep bowl, add enough warm water or vegetable broth to cover by 2 inches, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain; set aside. 

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant. Do not stir for the first minute; then cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Push the eggplant to the sides, making a well in the middle for the other ingredients. 

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the middle of the pan. Add onion, scallions, bell pepper, carrot and garlic. Do not stir for 2 minutes; then mix all the ingredients, including the eggplant, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. 

Reduce heat to medium-low. Make a well in the ingredients again and add tomato paste to the middle. Do not stir for 30 seconds; then turn the tomato paste over and cook for another 15 seconds. Add the drained bulgur, oregano, salt and pepper; stir well to combine. Heat through. If the eggplant is not completely tender, stir in broth, cover the pan and simmer until the eggplant reaches your desired tenderness. Remove from the heat; stir in parsley (or cilantro). 


Tip: If you’re using large, common globe eggplant, which can be more bitter than other varieties, salting beforehand can reduce bitterness. To salt: Place prepped eggplant in a large colander over a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon salt. Top the eggplant with a plate weighted down with cans. Let sit for 30 minutes before using. Rinse well with cold water, then pat dry with towels. 


From EatingWell.