Bulgur wheat is made from kernels of wheat that have been boiled, dried, and then crushed. It has been a staple grain in the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years.
Bulgur has become increasingly popular in America, as the Mediterranean diet is progressively being advocated as an emblem of health. Bulgur is widely known as the key ingredient in tabbouleh, a pilaf of which typically includes olive oil, lemon juice, spices, tomatoes, and of course, bulghur.
This longstanding grain has a slightly nutty flavor as well as a moderately chewy and soft texture.
Bulgur is a part of the Mediterranean diet that is worth boasting about in terms of nutrition. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) ranks bulgur wheat as the number one grain in a scoring of nutrition, winning out over wheat germ, pearled barley, brown rice and pasta. Per one cup cooked, bulgur has 8 grams of fiber, or 33% DV. It also has 6 grams of protein and 11% DV of iron for only 150 calories. Bulghur is also exceptionally high in manganese and magnesium.
One of my favorite things about bulgur is its quick cooking time. Some people prepare it by simply boiling water, pouring it over the bulgur wheat, and letting it stand for 15-20 minutes until it absorbs most of the water. I prefer a softer texture, so I like to actually cook the bulgur wheat. For four servings, combine one cup bulgur wheat with two cups water, bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Bulgur can either be eaten plain with either a drizzle of soy sauce or olive oil, or it can be mixed into countless
recipes. As I’ve mentioned before, tabbouleh is one of the most popular ways to utilize bulgur, and also one of my favorite ways. The following is a recipe that I loosely follow. It’s not all that original, but sometimes classic is the way to go. I
tend to just eyeball the ingredients, but the measurements are my best guess as to what actually goes into my tabbouleh.
-1 cup bulgur wheat
-1 lemon, squeezed
-2 tbsp. olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
-2 Tbsp. fresh mint. or 2 tsp. dried mint
-1/4 cup parsley, chopped
-1/2 cup chick peas, drained
-Salt and pepper, to taste (a few cracks around the bowl)
-1/4 cup radishes, chopped (optional)
-1/4 cup cucumber, chopped (optional)
-10-15 cherry tomatoes, sliced (optional)
Combine bulghur with two cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Transfer bulghur to a large serving bowl, and fluff with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Garnish with a few fresh mint or parsley leaves on top.