When preparing this common Cypriot side dish as an accompaniment for grilled and roasted meats, make sure your bulgur is moist, like rice, but not wet. Substitute chopped fresh celery leaves for parsley when celery is in season.
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or virgin sesame oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 oz. fine vermicelli, broken into 4 pieces (about 40 sticks whole vermicelli)
- 1⁄2 lb. bulgur wheat (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
- 5 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. roughly chopped parsley
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400º. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed 5-quart dutch oven. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes; add the garlic, stirring frequently, until the garlic turns golden, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add vermicelli and bulgur, stirring frequently, and cook until the wheat smells toasted, about 5 minutes. Add salt, broth, and chopped tomatoes. Stir once to combine, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Transfer the bulgur mixture to oven and cook, covered, until the bulgur is tender and fluffy, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with chopped parsley strewn over top.