In this popular home dish from the southern Tunisian town of Gafsaa, coarse bulgur is steamed like couscous until tender, tossed with a savory, peppery lamb and vegetable stew, then baked like a gratin.
This dish is prepared with only the smallest amount of liquid, just the moisture exuded by its humble vegetables—cabbage, turnips, carrots, and onions—creating a sweet, burnished-onion flavor counterpointed by peppery aromatics. The pan juices are thinned a bit to moisten the steamed bulgur, then the ingredients are layered and baked in the oven with a swirl of fresh olive oil, until all the moisture has been absorbed and the top is crusty and brown. The dish is then served with a topping of chopped parsley and finely sliced marinated green chiles.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.