Bulgur Wheat Pilaf with Dried Fruit and Nuts

So on Mother’s Day, when my grownup children come with their families, do I cook what they like or what I like? 

We eat at home. Call me cranky but I can’t handle the Mother’s Day brunch service at a restaurant.

But I digress. So about the food. I like turkey, but my daughter Meredith doesn’t and anyway we have turkey so often you’d think it was always Thanksgiving around here.

Mer and my other daughter Gillian don’t eat beef, but my husband Ed and son-in-law Jesse (and I) like it.

We all eat lamb, except it really isn’t Ed’s favorite and so he eats it obligingly.

Chicken — well, okay. Chicken is the kind of food that almost serves all purposes but you have it enough and so often that you wouldn’t choose it as a must-have for a special get-together.

We all like Mujadarrah, a vegetarian bulgur wheat, lentil and onion casserole, but it doesn’t seem as spring-like as I would like on Mothers Day.

Even dessert can be problematic. I like vanilla and so does my grandson Zev, but the others like chocolate. Which means I would love love love a white vanilla-y cake with White Mountain Frosting and coconut, but my son-in-law Greg would want chocolate cake and fudge frosting.

I like pie but my daughter Gillian doesn’t. However, my grandchildren, Lila (age 5), Nina (age 4) and Zev (age 10) do like pie — so maybe I’m on to something here.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll probably grill some stuff if the weather’s good, and make a bunch of grain and vegetable salads and side dishes and then everyone can pick and choose what they like and undoubtedly I will have some leftovers to eat on Monday. As for dessert, I still have an apple pie in my freezer, from the pile I made last November during apple season, and I always have Grand Finale Cookies there too — those are the fabulous oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies you can find here and in my book, Hip Kosher. So maybe I will make a vanilla cake too or just let it rest at vanilla ice cream. 

Here’s a recipe for one of the side dishes I’m going to cook.

Bulgur Wheat Pilaf with Apricots and Pistachio Nuts

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • pinch cinnamon or 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the bulgur and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the stock and add the salt, pepper, fresh herb and apricots. Stir, bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 25 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the pistachio nuts, parsley and cinnamon or lemon peel.

Makes 6-8 servings