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.
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.
Bulgur is 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.
Though quinoa has the advantage of being gluten-free, with a bit more protein, bulgur is no slouch as a nourishing grain. See lots more in our Guide to Bulgur.
Ingredients for Lemony Bulgur Pilaf
- Green beans, fresh or frozen (about 6 ounces)
- Bulgur (pre-steamed cracked wheat, 1 cup raw)
- Olive oil
- Onion, 1 large
- Garlic, fresh
- Mushrooms, any variety, about 4 ounces
- Navy beans (or other white beans), 15-ounce can
- Walnuts or pecans, small amount
- Fresh parsley, small amount
- Fresh dill, small amount
- Lemon, 1
- Salt and pepper
Variations to the recipe: You can substitute couscous or quinoa for the 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.
More recipes featuring green beans
- Green Beans with Tomatoes and Chile Peppers (Ejotes)
- Stir-Fried Sesame Green Beans
- Spicy Tempeh and Green Bean Stir-Fry
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Easy Green Bean Recipes.
Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Celebrations by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky originally appeared on VegKitchen.
- 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
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