I know that quinoa is enjoying it’s moment in the sun and nutritionally, it’s all that it’s touted to be. That being said, bulgur wheat is not as high in protein but it’s BY FAR the taste winner (in my opinion). It’s nutty, slightly sweet, and cooks quickly. It’s not that far from steel cut oats, actually, but cooks in a quarter of the time. This pilaf was from my “buffet of grains” day when I taught at the high school; I doubled the recipe and tweaked as I went. I am a HUGE fan of this simple side dish.
Bulgur is a par-boiled whole wheat grain – it’s not gluten free but that takes nothing away from the fact that it’s uber-healthy. It is higher fiber and lower calorie than brown rice (and I think it tastes better too). You may have seen this before in Tabbouleh (Middle Eastern dish that also contains lemon juice, mint, and parsley). I cook it in place of brown rice because, as I already said, it’s healthier but to me it also tastes much better.
By toasting the grains in butter and sauteing the veggies in butter as well, the flavor is majorly impacted. Did you know that butter is actually lower calorie than olive oil? It’s lower in “good fats” as well but as part of an overall healthy diet, butter certainly has it’s place. The flavor imparted here is incredible so I would try it my way before you swap for the heart-healthy oil.
The veggies I used are all seriously easy to find (in the grocery store or in your farmer’s market) and though they aren’t trendy (like kale or brussels) it doesn’t mean they’re not beautifully healthy. You know I like to encourage swapping but please just try this exactly as written before changing things – I don’t know what it is but the combination is perfectly scrumptious.
Buttery Bulgur with Corn and Tomatoes
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 c. finely diced onion (about 1 small onion or 1/2 a larger onion)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 c. bulgur wheat
2 c. chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 vine tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 c. corn, thawed if frozen
1/4 c. minced fresh basil
1. Heat medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add butter and when melted, add onion, salt and pepper. Saute about 8 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
2. Add bulgur and stir frequently for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and, when boiling, reduce heat to low and cover for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add remaining 1 tbsp. butter. When melted, add garlic and saute about 30 seconds or until fragrant (but not browned).
4. Add bell pepper and saute about 5 minutes. Add corn, tomatoes and oregano and saute another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add vegetable mixture to bulgur and stir to combine. Serve with basil sprinkled on top.