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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Picadillo

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Ingredients for vegetarian picadillo.

1 Ingredients for vegetarian picadillo.

Bulgur soaking in hot water-1/2 cup dried will yield about 1 1/4 cups.

2 Bulgur soaking in hot water-1/2 cup dried will yield about 1 1/4 cups.

Soaked and drained bulgur.

3 Soaked and drained bulgur.

Glossy and tender onions.

4 Glossy and tender onions.

Eggplant cooks with onions until almost tender.

5 Eggplant cooks with onions until almost tender.

Bulgur added to the pot.

6 Bulgur added to the pot.

Add the almonds to the pan and stir to combine.

7 Add the almonds to the pan and stir to combine.

Vegetarian Picadillo.

8 Vegetarian Picadillo.

Here's to another Meatless Monday! Picadillo, a Latin American dish typically made with ground beef and/or pork, takes nicely to a vegetarian preparation. Here, bulgur wheat  mimics the texture of ground meat while eggplant rounds the dish out. We ate it just as it is but if you like, top it with some sour cream or yogurt and diced avocado.

Vegetarian Picadillo
Serves 4

1/2 cup bulgur wheat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, slivered
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled in stripes and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (4 cups)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups canned plum tomatoes with their juice, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 1/2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup natural almonds, sliced

1. Place bulgur in a small bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Let stand 20 minutes until bulgur has softened. Drain in a sieve, pressing on bulgur to extract water (don't worry if a little water remains).

2. Meanwhile in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-low. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently and adding a little water if the onions are sticking, until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes.

3. Add the eggplant, the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/3 cup water and cook, stirring frequently until the eggplant has wilted and softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the drained bulgur, tomatoes, raisins, capers, chile powder, and oregano, cover and simmer 7 minutes for the flavors to blend. Add almonds and toss to combine.

Comments (3)

  • A vegetarian friend and I take turns preparing a Friday night dinner for our families. Any ideas on how to round out the meal for the committed carnivors (children) in the group.

  • Dana,
    How about getting some chicken sausages for the kids and they can have the picadillo as a side dish. You can also round it out by topping it with cheese, say feta or a queso blanco, avocado, and tortilla chips the way you would a chili.

  • Author Comment:

    @Dana-you could also stuff the picadillo in tortillas along with some dried chorizo and top it with cheese.

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