This is gloriously buttery and nutty but the tang of apricots and clean bite of yoghurt give it a lift. Try it with rich lamb dishes, or stuff it into pepper halves or hollowed-out zucchini halves and bake until vegetables are tender.
½ cup dried apricots 250ml (1 cup) hot water 300g (10-11 oz) coarse burghul 1 medium onion, peeled and finely hopped 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 2 Tbsp pine nuts Finely grated zest 1 lemon ¼ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp chilli flakes 500ml (2 cups) light unsalted chicken or vegetable stock ½ tsp salt ¼ cup pistachio nuts, shelled 1 cup thick Greek-style yoghurt, optional Smoked paprika for dusting, optional
1 Put apricots in a saucepan and cover with hot water. Bring to a bubble, then cook gently for about 7 minutes, until soft. Drain, reserving liquid. Chop coarsely. Put burghul in a sieve and rinse under running water until water runs clear.
2 Put onion in a medium saucepan with butter or oil. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, until soft and pale gold in colour. Add garlic, pine nuts and lemon zest, cook briefly, then add cinnamon, cumin, chilli flakes and burghul. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, then add stock, salt and apricots. Make up the reserved apricot liquor to one cup with hot water and add to pan. Bring to a bubble, cover with a lid and cook very gently for 15 minutes.
3 Remove pan from heat, lift the lid and stir through pistachio nuts. If using in stuffed vegetables, use immediately, but if serving as a pilaf, cover with paper towels and leave to plump for 5 minutes. Serve warm with yoghurt and a dusting of paprika of liked.
The pilaf makes enough to fill 4-6 zucchini (courgettes) and 4 or more peppers (bell peppers / capsicums). Trim zucchini, cut in half and scoop out seeds and some of the flesh to make a shell. Chop seeds and flesh and add to pilaf mixture.
Halve peppers, scoop out seeds and membrane, leaving stems intact.
Pile mixture into vegetables and place in a shallow ovenproof dish. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and bake in a hot oven (200°C / 400°F) for about 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender and lightly coloured. Serve with yoghurt.