Thursday, March 5, 2020

Eech, a perfect Lenten recipe

Once a week, during the Lenten season, Armenian Churches have an evening service, followed by a potluck dinner of Lenten dishes provided by attendees, and, finally, an appropriately themed program.


My recipe contribution for an up-coming Lenten evening is Eech, which is similar to, but not quite the same as  Tabbouleh. 
A bowl of eech with a light drizzle of olive oil, topped with finely chopped parsley and onions.
Eech          

Yield: About 3+ cups or 10 (1/3 cup) servings.


Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped (Cook ¾ of the onion in oil and save the other 1/4 to mix with parsley for topping.)

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped (Red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers may be used instead of the green.)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley, washed and finely chopped (Use 3/4 of the parsley in the mixture and save 1/4 of it to mix with onion for topping.)

1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce

3/4 cup water

1 Tbsp. red pepper paste, optional

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried mint

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup fine (#1) bulgur


Directions:

1. In a medium-sized saucepan, sauté onion and pepper in olive oil until soft. Add tomato sauce, water, red pepper paste, if using, lemon juice and seasonings. Stir well; bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.


2. Add bulgur, stirring well. Stir in 3/4 of the chopped parsley. Set aside to cool.


3. When cool enough to handle, scoop the eech into a 1/3 cup dry measure for a uniform shape when it is inverted onto a platter. Sprinkle the tops with the reserved mixture of onions and parsley. 
In case you're wondering, the eech holds together nicely.

10- 1/3 cup portions of eech
If you prefer, serve eech in a serving bowl, drizzled with olive oil and garnished with the chopped parsley and onion as shown above.

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