Bulgur Pilaf with Cabbage

True confession: I haven’t actually cooked this dish yet.  It’s (another) snowy day here in New York and I want to try something new, but writing out a recipe helps me once I start chopping and cursing (err, I mean cooking), so I thought I would organize it here first.  I’ll follow up with feedback on my level of success.  The plan is for the pilaf to accompany a well-tested roast pork with dry rub.

UPDATE:  Both my husband and I ate this pilaf and we both had seconds.  That said, I’m not sure I would cook it again.  The pickling spice was a bit intense for both of us, but perhaps that could be countered by adding a bit less.  


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • a small leek, chopped
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 2 tsp ground pickling spice (see below)
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • a dash of Worcestershire Sauce


  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet, then add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cabbage and bulgur and cook, stirring, until coated with oil.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the pickling spice, and the pre-heated stock.  Be sure that the stock is boiling.
  4. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and let sit until the bulgur is tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Adjust season.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and Worcestershire Sauce.  Serve.

Pickling Spice (for 1/2 a cup)

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 cup mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp allspice berries
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 Tbsp dill seeds


  1. Break the cinnamon stick and bay leaves into pieces.
  2. Roughly chop all the other ingredients, leaving most of the seeds whole.
  3. Stir to combine the spices and store in a tightly sealed container for several months.

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