Another recipe from my ummah cookbook, this one a kind of… savory fig newton, I suppose. Except without the figs. If you cut it as small as fig newtons, you’d get some pretty nifty party food, though.
from Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa
1 cup dry bulgur, prepared [the recipe asks for fine, but I used #3]
1 cup raw cashew nuts
3 cups chopped onions, divided
2 TB flour
1.5 tspn salt, divided
3/4 tspn pepper
1/4 tspn allspice
1/4 tspn cumin
1/4 tspn cinnamon
1/8 tspn cayenne
3 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Prepare the bulgur by steeping it in boiling water.
Sauté two cups of the onions, the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper until the onions begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Use a little oil or butter, but don’t go crazy (and don’t use the 4TB the recipe requires).
Find some way to make a coarse paste of everything else plus 1TB of oil. If you’ve got a food processor, use that. If you don’t, use your blender and/or stand mixer, but be prepared for tough sledding. You might consider doing the cashews first.
Divide the paste in half. Spread one half evenly in a greased pan or on to parchment paper, roughly 7×11”.
Spread onion mixture on top, then cover with second half of the paste.
If you’re going for neatness, cut the kibbeh into 2” squares now. If not, don’t.
Bake for ~40 minutes, until top is golden and bottom is deeper brown.
The kibbeh will set as it cools, so while you can eat it hot right out of the oven, it will have a different feel to it once it has cooled. Cold, you can pick it up like finger food.
No, really, I do use this pan for other things than members of the allium genus.
The bottom layer, which came out to more than 7×11, but good enough for me. You’ll notice the chunks of cashew because I had some… issues getting to the paste phase. Also, a hand. I don’t know why it’s there.
Skipping ahead to the covering up of the onion layer.
All covered up. I have to say, patting everything into place was great fun – like being in preschool again. Very therapeutic.
A colorful interlude of beet greens and swiss chard.
The finished version.
This was when everything was still warm. Once they were cool, they would’ve stood on their sides without help.
You’ll notice the greasy parchment. I cut the oil – an astounding 8TB was required in the original recipe – but it was still a little much. I cut it further when I posted the recipe above. Adjust according to taste.
These were fun and tasty out of the oven, but I really think they were better the next day – all of the spices were better blended. They’re also quite tasty cold.