What Is Bulgur?
This Broccoli Bulgur Pilaf is the third recipe in my series on ancient grains. Thanks for hanging with me, as I explore these amazing food sources, each of which, differ from each other, but share so much in common. Bulgur is the groat, or berry, of the wheat plant, most of the time from durum wheat. Groats are a whole grain which contains the germ and the bran, which are, like, all the ancient grains, nutritional superfoods. Sometimes, Bulgur is referred to as cracked wheat, and usually, it's par-cooked. So, Bulgur cooks fairly quickly, in comparison to other whole grains, which means it’s a really convenient choice, too.
Bulgur is a Nutrition Packed Grain
As with most whole grains, Bulgur is really high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, and protein. These grains are just plain incredibly good for us. Including them in our diets is an easy, economical, and delicious way to the healthiest possible diet. Read more about the nutritional benefits here: What is Bulgur Wheat - Everything You Need to Know. Bulgur is a nutrient-dense, sustainable, as well as an economical food source. Plus, it's easy to make and quick cooking. We all want convenience, and grains are just that.
Bulgar can substitute for rice and most other grains. This beautiful grain has been a staple in the cuisines of India, Turkey and the Middle East for centuries. Yes, centuries. Since biblical times, in fact. Talk about ancient, right?
Bulgar Makes For A Healthier Pilaf
A pilaf is a rice-based dish; first, you saute the grain in oil or butter and then simmer it in broth and seasonings. In this pilaf, I’m totally amping up the nutrition by using red bulgur instead of white rice. But, just as I did with my Farro risotto, I'm using the exact same cooking process that you would use to make a pilaf. I love using the standard cooking processes with different, but healthier ingredients, and that's what I'm aiming to do way more often.
This Bulgar Pilaf is delicious and hearty. It's a perfect vegetarian meal, but, also a lovely side for a carnivorous one, too. It's a flavour-filled and delicious meal all on its own. I love the nutty taste of bulgur combined with the freshness of lightly cooked broccoli. In keeping with this whole grain's roots, I am using Levantine spices in this pilaf.
Broccoli Bulgur Pilaf
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 onion diced
- 1 cup bulgur rinsed
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground clove
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 cups reduced sodium vegetable stock
- 2 cups broccoli florets blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- in a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat
- Add onion, and cook about two minutes, until softened
- Add bulgur and cook, stirring for about 4 minutes.
- Add paprika, cinnamon, clove, allspice, fenugreek, ginger, pepper, and salt
- Cook and stir until spices are fragrant, about one minute.
- Turn heat to high, and add stock, stirring, and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and allow to boil 2- 3 minutes, until just tender crisp and still bright green. Drain and set aside.
- Stir broccoli into cooked bulgur mixture. Garnish with parsley