This simple dinner was inspired by a bag of cherry tomatoes I bought at Borough Market when we were in London last weekend. That and the fact that the tomato-hating Scientist was out playing cricket (or trying to - that boy is very unlucky with the micro climate around here. He came back having got soaked; it had showered for two minutes here, only 15 minutes' drive away).
I had initially planned to make a simple tomato sauce for a pasta dish, but as the day wore on I began to fancy something featuring the crunch of my favourite grain, bulgar wheat. In the end I decided to keep with the simple and made this lovely pilaf, throwing in some cabbage we had in the fridge as well. My favourite way of eating tomatoes (apart from straight from the bag, like sweeties) is to roast them with some balsamic vinegar. It concentrates all the flavour and gives them a nice chewy texture as well. I put them in the oven and then got on with the rest of the cooking after about 20 minutes. This extra stage really made the dish, but you could just cook them in the pan when the bulgar goes in if you prefer not to turn on the oven. My dinner merited a happy dinner wiggle as I ate it, with some plain yogurt on the top, and a bit of wholemeal pitta bread on the side.
Tomato and cabbage pilaf
The trouble with making up my own dishes is that I pay no attention at all to quantities, so this is a rough guide rather than a proper recipe. I was just cooking for one, though as usual I made too much.
Cut a handful of cherry tomatoes in half (I did loads so as to have lots left over for other dishes and general snacking). Put them in a roasting tin and drizzle over some balsamic vinegar, some shaosing wine, a grinding of salt and pepper, and some fresh basil (or whatever other herbs you prefer). You can also add oil but I let the other liquids do their thing in preference. Roast in a preheated oven at around 180C for about half an hour - but leaving them longer just makes them even nicer and more chewy.
After about 20 minutes of roasting, fry some onion in a pan with a little oil. When it softens add some garlic (I used half of a big clove and it was very garlicky!). After a few more minutes add some shredded cabbage and cook for another few minutes, stirring often. Add about 50g bulgar wheat, stir and then add stock, to cover. Put a lid on the pan, and leave to simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes, until the bulgar is cooked. Serve with the tomatoes on top, and some plain yogurt to hand for drizzling. Dinner wiggle is optional, but advised.