Bulgur and Walnut Kibbeh

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These patties make a great destination for fine bulgur. Kibbeh (called kufteh in Persian and köfte in Turkish) are usually made with a mixture of ground meat and bulgur, but there are vegetarian versions as well. This mixture of bulgur and walnuts is pungent with garlic and fragrant with parsley and fresh mint. They make a nice appetizer.

Ingredients

  • ¾

    cup fine bulgur

  • 2

    garlic cloves, halved, green shoots removed

  • Salt to taste

  • ½

    cup walnuts, lightly toasted and finely chopped

  • 2

    tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ¼

    cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 2

    tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

  • ¾

    teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2

    tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Small romaine lettuce leaves (or larger ones, cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces)

    Preparation

    1. Place the bulgur in a bowl, add salt to taste and pour on boiling water to cover by 1/2 inch. Let sit for one hour, then drain and squeeze out excess water.
    2. Place the garlic in a mortar and pestle with a generous pinch of salt, and mash to a paste. Stir into the bulgur. Add the walnuts, olive oil, parsley, mint, pepper, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Moisten your hands and knead the mixture for a couple of minutes, then allow to sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
    3. With moistened fingers, form the bulgur mixture into bite-size balls, and press an indentation into the middle of each ball. Place on a lettuce leaf, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve. Guests can use the lettuce leaves as a sort of wrap to eat with the kibbeh.

    Tip

    • Advance preparation: You can make this a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator.

      Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at martha-rose-shulman.com.

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