I cook and serve bulgur wheat from time to time. Assuming that it shares the same cooking technique as rice, I didn’t bother reading the cooking instructions and boy, did the negligence show on my dish. Aside for it being inedible, it was burnt beyond recognition. Even experienced cooks slip on simple dishes like these. I’ve decided to meticulously read the cooking instructions and I got it right the second round.I guess beginners luck doesn’t always come naturally to me. The texture and taste was right. It was fluffy and light. But it lacked something. Rice can generally be eaten as it is but sometimes other grains require substance. For those of you who are not familiar with bulgur wheat, it is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, parboiled, dried, ground into particles and sifted into distinct sizes. The result is a nutritious, versatile wheat product with a pleasant, nut-like flavor and an extended shelf-life that allows it to be stored for long periods. Bulgur is high in fiber and rich in B vitamins, iron, phosphorus and manganese. In contrast to cracked wheat, bulgur is ready to eat with minimal cooking or, after soaking in water or broth, can be mixed with other ingredients without further cooking. Bulgur holds a place in recipes similar to rice or cous cous but with a higher nutritional value. Best known as an ingredient in tabouli salad, bulgur is also a tasty, low-fat ingredient in pilaf, soup, bakery goods, stuffing or casseroles. It is an ideal food in a vegetarian diet because of its nutritional value and versatility. For this recipe, I added steamed broccoli, sauteed zucchini and onions. Season with salt and pepper and your dish is complete. I used broccoli and zucchini because that’s what I had available. You can use other vegetables if you decide to. Or if you like to incorporate a little protein in your bulgur wheat, you can toss in bits of chicken,turkey, or beef. You can throw in some tofu or chunks of dried fruit.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 cup of bulgur wheat
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cup of broccoli florets steamed
- 1 large zucchini chopped
- 1 onion diced
- Salt and pepper for taste
In a saucepan over medium low heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Pour in bulgur wheat and saute for 3 minutes o until completely coated in oil. Pour in the broth,cover and cook for 20 minutes or when the bulgar has plumped up like a rice or a pasta. In a greased skillet over medium high heat, add onions and saute till carmelized. Add the zucchini and saute for another 7 minutes or until juices are drained. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss in with bulgur wheat. Add the broccoli florets and mix. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Yields 4 servings