Our Bulgur and Lentil Pilaf With Leeks is a wonderful, comforting weekday meal for the entire family. This is a versatile recipe that allows for a few variations. For example, you can add in leafy greens to make the meal even more nutritious. You can also use long-grain rice instead of bulgur, caramelized onions can replace the leeks, and the dish can be served with dairy-free plain yogurt.
Place lentils in a bowl and add warm water to cover by one inch.
As lentils are soaking, clean and halve leeks then cut them into thin crosswise slices.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook 5 to 10 minutes until tender. Set half of them aside for garnishing.
Keep half of the leeks in the pot. Add garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
Add bulgur and cook for 2 minutes. Then add cumin and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds.
Drain lentils and add them to the pot. Add 1 1/2 cups water and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
If using leafy green vegetables, rinse and add them to the pot, cooking 5 more minutes before serving.
Transfer lentils and bulgur to serving dish and top with reserved leeks.
Rosane Oliveira, DVM, PhD
Rosane Oliveira, DVM, PhD is Founding Director of UC Davis Integrative Medicine and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Public Health Sciences at the School of Medicine at the University of California Davis. Blending a life-long passion for food and nutrition with over 20 years of scientific experience in genetic research, Dr. Oliveira is devoted to educating people about how food and lifestyle choices can affect genetic expression–i.e. how genes are turned on and off and either cause disease or promote health. She is a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has lived in the US since 2003.