Serves 8-10 / This vegetarian version of a traditional Eastern Mediterranean dish uses coarse cracked wheat; look for it in bulk bins (Bob's Red Mill also packages it). It can be made up to one day in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temp before reheating, covered with foil. Serving tip: Delicious served at room temperature or warm.

SAUCE
1½ cups plain low-fat or whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon grated yellow onion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt

KIBBEH
2½ tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus more for brushing pan)
½ cup coarsely grated yellow onion
2¼ cups cracked wheat
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
4 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup canned pumpkin

FILLING
3 tablespoons dried currants
¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1½ pounds sweet-tart apples, cut into ½-inch dice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup coarsely chopped parsley
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. To make kibbeh: Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat, then add 1½ tablespoons olive oil. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add cracked wheat, pepper, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir for a minute or so, until fragrant. Pour in broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  3. To make filling: Preheat oven to 375°. Pour hot water over currants to plump; drain. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven (but leave oven on). Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sliced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown. Add apples and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until apples are barely tender. Remove from heat and stir in currants, walnuts, parsley, and feta.
  4. Stir pumpkin into wheat mixture. It will come together like a dough. Brush a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Press half of wheat mixture into pan. Top with filling, then scatter remaining wheat mixture on top. Press down with a wet spatula until smooth. Brush top with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool 20 minutes or more, then cut into squares. Serve, topped with sauce.

PER SERVING (10, each with 2 tablespoons sauce): 332 cal, 41% fat cal, 16g fat, 4g sat fat, 17mg chol, 10g protein, 43g carb, 8g fiber, 440mg sodium


Laurie Gauguin, a professional chef since 1996, cooks for private clients in the San Francisco area and blogs at ladleandwhisk.wordpress.com.