Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kibbee-style Bulgar Salad

kibbee salad

I have been literally itching to make kibbee for weeks.  Mom and I went out for lunch back home in NH, where the fattoush salad is out of this world.  I live for it.  We went to a restaurant where I'd never been before, and I was about to top my salad with lamb kabob when saw a strange new meat option - Kibbee. I'd never heard of it before, but I'm always one to try new things.  Especially when the waitress described it as "kind of like meatloaf, but with pine nuts, and better..."

kibbee salad

I died.  It was like a pine nutty, lamby, flat, baked slice of heaven.  It was so savory I nearly forgot about the citrusy, sumac-covered, crunchy salad below.  As soon as it was gone from my plate, I was on my phone, googling recipes.  I picked up some bulgar at the Christmas Tree Shop (yes, I do just love a bargain) to drag back to DC with me.

kibbee salad

And then, I forgot about it.  Until one morning, while digging in the back of my cabinet, I saw the bulgar and remembered.  The urge was back - I had to have kibbee.  Tonight.

kibbee salad prior to baking

Again, I scoured the web for recipes.  There were all sorts of variations - some with tons of spices like allspice, fresh mint, cumin, cinnamon or even hot sauce, others had feta, some mixed the bulgar with the meat and some layered them.  I decided I would combine them all and see what worked best for me.

kibbee salad baked

Unfortunately, it really didn't work out for me.  It became a big mess instead of a nice slice.  Regardless, the taste was really fantastic and it made a great salad.  I like using bulgar in "pasta" salad because it is so healthy, so this seemed like the obvious route to me.  Regardless, this is not my last try making kibee!!

kibbee salad

Kibbee-style Bulgar Salad

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb ground lamb
1/4 c fresh chopped mint
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 c bulgar
1/2 c pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Saute garlic and onion until soft, about 8 minutes.
2. Add ground lamb, mint, cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg and cook until brown (doesn't need to be cooked through).
3. Meanwhile, soak bulgar in warm water 15-20 minutes.  Drain and squeeze out excess water.
4. Combine bulgar, lamb, and pine nuts in a bowl.  Grease a baking pan well with oil.  Press mixture into pan.
5.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Serve on its own with roasted squash or over baby spinach.


Kendall @On An Inhale said...

i've never had bulger before...this looks delicious. When you make your butternut squash soup let me know the recipe if you dont mind. I haven't found a good one yet. It is usually too thin and doesnt have a strong butternut flavor like you would buy at a cafe. I know yours will be good :) thanks!

Debbie said...

i made this tonight and it as very yummy, although not too attractive :) i mixed together 1/3 cup flour and approx 1/2 cup oo with salt and then mixed this together with the bulgar. i then layered it in the pan: 1/2 bulgar mixture, meat, rest of bulgar and then the pine nuts ( lebanese kibbee in pan). it was very good! my husband's first comment was "what is this?" only because of what it looked like but we both loved it!! i also served it with baked squash...thanks!!

d.liff said...

Glad you tried it! Did yours come our like more of a loaf or did it crumble like mine? I agree, not the most attractive, but the taste is great!