Fruit and nut bulgur dressing

November 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm (AMA, B_minus (2.5 stars), Fall recipes, Grains, Winter recipes)

As Thanksgiving is approaching, I’ve started experimenting with possible recipes for this year’s feast. This modern stuffing from the AMA Family Health cookbook looked tasty, and pretty easy, so I made it for dinner a few weeks ago, along with barbecued tempeh and some roasted broccoli and cauliflower.


  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked bulgur
  • 1 cup chopped mixed dried fruit
  • 2 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 to 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, plus 2 Tbs.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Toast the pecans on a small baking sheet, stirring once or twice, until they turn a shade darker and become fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes.  Cool completely, then coarsely chop the nuts.  Leave the oven on.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onion, celery, and carrots, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring often, until very soft, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and cayenne, and cook for 1 minute.   Stir in the bulgur, dried fruit, orange peel and juice, and 2 cups of the broth.  Transfer to a large ovenproof casserole dish.  (At this point you can refrigerate the casserole.  Return to room temperature before baking.)
  3. Stir in 1/3 cup of chopped parsley.  If the dressing has been made ahead, add the additional 1/4 cup of broth.  Bake, covered, in a 350-degree oven, for 45 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender.
  4. Sprinkle the dressing with 2 Tbs. of chopped parsley and serve.

My notes:

For the dried fruit I used a mix of raisins, prunes, dates, apricots, mango, and dried kumquats.  I think the kumquats really helped boost the orange flavor.  Between the kumquat pieces, the orange peel, and the orange juice, this dish had a really lovely orange flavor.  Both Derek and Ansley, however, said they thought the dish was lacking something.  It was sweet and tasty but ultimately unsatisfying.  Derek liked it much better when he mixed it with the richer, more intensely spicy barbecued tempeh pieces.

Texturally, there was a problem: occasionally a bite would contain pieces of overly crunchy bulgur.  I think what happened is the top layer of the bulgur dish got dried out and hard.  I’m not really sure why the recipe says to bake the dish in the oven.  I think it would work just as well, or even better, to just cook it on the stovetop.  That would also create one less dish to clean.

Rating: B

Derek: ??

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