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 contain the germ and the bran, which are, like, all the ancient grains, nutritional super foods. 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.
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 easy, economical, and delicious way to the healthiest possible diet. 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?
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.
Most importantly for all of us, bulgur is a nutrient dense, sustainable, as well as an economical food source. Plus, hello, it's easy to make and quick cooking. We all want convenience, and grains are just that.
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.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp butter *
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup bulgur, rinsed
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt *
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups broccoli florets, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes
- 2 tbsp 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
- Turn heat to low, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes
- Stir in broccoli, and garnish with parsley
- Serve hot
*To make this vegetarian dish vegan, simply omit the butter. * If you use a vegetable broth that contains salt, don't use salt until you taste at the end of cooking, then add salt to taste.