You have met bulgur before. It was probably dressed in Tabouli. But it’s got a lot more to offer – after 4000 years of being cultivated – it’s been around the block. Bulgur means “bruised grain” and it has to do with the way it is processed. The wheat is boiled or parboiled, dried out in the sun (at least traditionally) and then smashed into bits and stored for later use. Maybe it was an ancient method for dealing with anger? Who knows? In any event, they are delicious little nuggets that absorb flavors like little champs or taste delicious with just a little olive oil and salt. Bulgur can be used as a side dish, a breakfast cereal, it can replace pasta in soups, rice in stir frys, and the list goes on. Bulgar is basically my hero.
But before we get to the good stuff – Confetti Bulgur I like to call it,
It’s been a while – like FIVE YEARS (!) since I posted last. I’ve been a little busy – had two more kids, for a grand total of three – which means that our whole house looks like the header image on this blog and there isn’t as much time for testing recipes and taking pretty pictures. That’s not to say that I haven’t done it. I like taking pictures of food. It’s like a yummy memory. I’ll have to go back and find those and recreate them. Anyhow, that’s where I’ve been in a nutshell, or I guess I WAS the nutshell and they were the nuts…which makes a lot of sense as an analogy…..
Back to bulgur. We’ve been making bulgur for years now, but I can’t recall exactly when we realized the importance of incorporating it into our life. Even just now, we reheated the recipe I’m about to share and threw an over easy egg on top. Et Voila!: Delicious and filling breakfast. My husband loves to eat plain bulgur with over easy eggs and turmuric sprinkled on top.
After many iterations – I think my husband came up with the exact ratio of water to bulgur that resulted in fluffy, perfectly cooked bulgur. But the truth is it’s pretty hard to mess it up.
What you need: 2 cups water or broth (I frequently use chicken bouillion for this) and 1 and 1/3 cups bulgur. Put a tablespoon or two of olive in a pot on the stove and put on medium high heat. Saute bulgur grains in olive oil and a pinch or two of salt. Once everything is coated nicely in oil, add the liquid (carefully, it bubbles up) and bring to boil. Then turn to a simmer and cover. Cook for about ten minutes. The liquid should be all absorbed with little steam holes when done:
If you use a little less oil and saute the grains a bit longer, stirring occasionally, you can achieve a nice toasty flavor, too. It’s good to have options.
What you need:
1 recipe for regular bulgur (you will likely have some leftover, but it’s up to you how much you add)
1/2 to a whole onion
2 ribs of celery
1/2 bell pepper (color’s up to you!)
If you’ve spent some time cooking, you’ll recognize the above as the makings of a mirepoix, used as a base traditionally for soups or sauces. Mirepoix is kind of interesting in itself, but I’ll go more into that in a separate post. It’s meant to be gently sauteed.
If you are keeping this a side dish, you basically just saute the veggies in olive oil until tender, toss in as much bulgur as you please, salt and pepper to taste, and you’re done!
This is also a great place to toss in any leftover tidbits of meat or other veggies from your fridge. In this case I had leftover chicken and cauliflower which I tossed in last. This was enough to take this baby from side dish to main dish – and then main dish in the morning again with the addition of over easy eggs. I like a meal that does that much work.
It’s good to be back.