Eetch (pronounced Yeetch) is a traditional Armenian side dish made from Bulgar wheat. It is similar to tabbouleh but much thicker and grainier, and not as tart. Its color is derived from tomato paste and tomato sauce. It is a great way to use summer vegetables, another take on salads, and you can add as much spice as you wish. I think the next batch I make I will omit cayenne pepper, but add some chopped jalapeno! OK, I know that is not traditional, but we could call that Texas Eetch!
Eetch – Armenian Bulgur Salad
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste ( I buy tubes of tomato paste rather than cans, so easy to use small amounts)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup water (just measure by rinsing the tomato sauce can)
1 1/2 cups Bulgar
juice of 1 lemon or more to taste, optional
a pinch of cayenne pepper ( to taste, and optional)
Heat olive oil in large sauce pan. Add onion, green pepper, 1 T tomato paste and salt, Cook over medium heat about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato sauce, water, and when back to boiling, stir in bulgur, mixing well. Cover, remove from heat and let stand. Fluff and stir in parsley plus lemon juice and cayenne if using. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. This is beautiful served on a Romaine lettuce leaf with a sprinkle of chopped fresh tonatoes and green onions, but also works well as a side dish or a stuffing for peppers.