Cracked wheat, usually available in health food stores, is similar in texture and appearance to bulgur. Unlike bulgur, which is pre-steamed and dried, cracked wheat consists of uncooked wheat berries that have been cracked into pieces. This pilaf combines the nutty grain with earthy green lentils, sweet onions and carrots, and fragrant mint.
do ahead Pilaf can be made up to two days ahead, stored in the refrigerator and reheated, well covered, in a 325° oven for 20-25 minutes.
1 cup chopped onions
1⁄2 cup medium chopped carrots
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 cup cracked wheat
3 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 cup lentils du Puy, rinsed and picked through for stones
21⁄4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
1 In dry pan over moderate heat, toast cracked wheat until it darkens a little and releases a nutty fragrance, 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan.
2 In a large saucepan over moderate heat, add oil until hot but not smoking. Add onions, carrots and garlic and cook over moderate heat until vegetables have softened and onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add toasted cracked wheat and lentils and cook for another minute. Add stock, salt and pepper and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
3 Fluff grains with a fork, and stir in scallions, mint and parsley.