Here’s a hearty bulgur pilaf with a lilting lemon flavor, embellished with green beans, white beans, fresh herbs, and nuts. This makes a heaping helping, so make it when you need a plentiful side dish for holiday meals or as a dish to share at potlucks.
Variations: You can substitute couscous or quinoa for bulgur. Use the same amount — 1 cup raw. For couscous, simply combine with 2 cups boiling water in a heatproof container. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. For quinoa, follow the same instructions as for cooking the bulgur in the recipe.
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky; originally appeared on VegKitchen
A Bit About Bulgur
Bulgur is made from parboiled, dried, and cracked wheat berries. It seems that bulgur was more popular until a decade or so ago when quinoa came along. Quinoa has become a go-to grain for making tabbouli, for example, though bulgur is traditional to the original Middle Eastern recipe.
Though quinoa has the advantage of being gluten-free, with higher-quality protein, bulgur is no slouch. It’s chewy, hearty, and versatile, good for making pilafs, and combines well with nuts, dried fruits, beans, and fresh herbs. Think of it as a replacement for rice — and yes, even for quinoa from time to time.
- 2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 cup raw bulgur (presteamed cracked wheat)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup cleaned, stemmed, and sliced mushrooms (any variety)
- 15-ounce can navy beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted if desired
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- Juice of 1 lemon, more or less to taste (about 1/4 cup)
- Zest of 1 lemon (optional, but highly recommended)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan, combine the green beans with a small amount of water and steam until tender-crisp. Drain and transfer to a bowl; set aside.
- In the same saucepan, combine the bulgur with 2 cups water. Bring to a slow boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is lightly browned.
- Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until wilted.
- Stir in the cooked bulgur, green beans, and all the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve straight from the pan, or for special occasions, transfer to a covered casserole dish to serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 164Total Fat: 4gCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 6g
If you like this hearty, nutty grain pilaf, you might also enjoy …
Here’s another green bean dish: