I’ve found a new favorite whole grain: bulgur wheat. To me, brown rice suffers for its association with white rice. Barley grains are too large and springy. I only like steel-cut oats for breakfast. I haven’t tried quinoa enough times to have a strong opinion. Bulgur is appealingly delicate, small-grained, and moist.
As usual, Wikipedia seems like a good source of information on bulgur wheat. Notably, this grain is sold parboiled, which means it has been boiled and dried before packaging, and means that cooking times are relatively short among whole grains. The last part is a guess, but for what it’s worth I’ve gotten good results using both the regular and quick cook settings on my rice cooker. Brown rice definitely does not work for me on the quick cook setting.
I didn’t realize that bulgur wheat is the main ingredient in tabbouleh. I guess I’ll be making more tabbouleh this year. I’ll definitely have bulgur wheat on hand from now on.
Bulgur wheat pilaf with roasted tomatoes
As a concession to my wife, I’ve provided parts for ratios in square brackets.
Pilafs like this are simple: grain, aromatics, a fat, and a fresh herb. The idea is similar to, but more developed than, something like seasoned rice. I like cooking pilafs because they can carry simply cooked proteins.
The roasted tomatoes aren’t necessary, but the extra umami and acid help when the pilaf is being eaten on its own.
- 2 parts [3.5 parts] water
- 1 part [1 part] dry bulgur
- Diced onion
- Diced carrot
- Diced red pepper
- Chopped garlic
- Handful parsley
- Pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lightly coat the tomatoes with olive oil and roast in a slow oven.
- Mix together the salt, bulgur wheat, and water. Start cooking in a rice cooker.
- Sweat the aromatics in olive oil. Stir into the bulgur.
- Once the bulgur has finished cooking, fluff, dress with extra virgin olive oil, stir in chopped parsley, and correct seasoning. Top with tomatoes and serve.