Friday, March 11, 2016

Recipes by Ellen Burstyn: Eggplant Curry; Tabbouleh

Ellen Burstyn's Eggplant Curry

3 tbsps. olive oil
Pinch of cumin seed
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 large eggplant, chopped with skin
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 sweet green (or red) pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 large ripe fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup yogurt
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Cook 1 minute (or until spices are well-permeated with oil). Add eggplant, onion and pepper; stir until well-blended. Add chicken stock and tomatoes; cook over low flame about 15 minutes, stirring often. Add yogurt, and salt and pepper to taste. Do not boil mixture or the yogurt will curdle. Serve curry at once, spooned over steaming bowls of hot cooked brown rice. Ellen's favorite curry accompaniments: chopped raisins, carrots, cucumber and celery served as a side dish with garnishes of cashews or sunflower seeds. Serves 6.

Thoughts: Ellen's curry is especially flavorful because she takes the trouble to select the spices that give the curry its flavor, instead of using the commercial blend.

Ellen Burstyn's Tabbouleh

1 cup bulgur (or cracked wheat)
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
3 to 4 scallions (while part only), finely chopped (about 1/2 cup scant)
12 radishes, washed and minced, optional
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons top quality olive oil
Salt to taste (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons crushed fresh mint (or dill seed)
Chilled romaine leaves

Wash bulgur in water; rewash. Cover with water; soak several hours. Chop cucumber, scallions, radishes and parsley; put into large wooden bowl. Cover and chill until serving time. Drain bulgur, squeeze out excess moisture with fingers. Add to vegetables in salad bowl. Toss lightly. In a separate bowl, blend lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad; toss lightly. Pack salad into romaine leaves. Garnish with crushed mint (or dill seed). Serve with an array of vegetarian salads: carrots and raisins, yogurt mixed with cucumber, mint leaves and chopped onion. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Thoughts: Bulgur is available in health food stores and many supermarkets. Cooked brown rice makes a good substitute.

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