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.
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.