Makes:4 to 6 servings
Roasting root vegetables like carrots and parsnips keeps their texture intact and intensifies their sweet flavor. Here, the roasted veggies are tossed with a fluffy bulgur pilaf, crunchy sunflower seeds, and a simple honey-lemon dressing. This healthy and easy fall side dish can be served for dinner with roasted chicken, or packed for a hearty vegetarian lunch.
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoonsolive oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 cupswater
1/2 teaspoonkosher salt, plus more as needed
1 cup medium-grind bulgur
1 poundcarrots, peeled and cut into medium dice
1 poundparsnips, peeled and cut into medium dice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened and is just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.
Add the water and measured salt and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the bulgur, and stir to combine. Cover with a tightfitting lid and let sit until the bulgur is tender and most or all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, roast the carrots and parsnips and make the dressing.
Place the carrots and parsnips on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, season with salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat. Spread the vegetables into an even layer and roast until cooked through and browned in spots, about 15 minutes.
Place the lemon juice and honey in a large, nonreactive bowl and whisk to combine. While whisking continuously, add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil in a slow, steady stream until it’s fully incorporated. Set aside.
When the bulgur is ready, transfer it and any liquid in the pan to the bowl with the dressing. Add the roasted vegetables, parsley, and sunflower seeds and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Let the pilaf sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes for the flavors to combine before serving.