We are very excited to bring you What Is It? Wednesdays! Every other Wednesday, we’ll explore a different ingredient or product in depth. We’ll be covering the benefits, uses and common misconceptions about each. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments and we’ll work them into the schedule.
Bulgur, the quintessential ingredient in tabbouleh, is a fabulous and easy way to incorporate whole grains into your diet. Originating primarily in the Middle East, bulgur can be found on menus across the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe. It's a simple ingredient that can be dressed up or served simply depending on the occasion and, behind oatmeal, one of the best "gateway" grains for most people's forays into whole grain cooking.
What is it? Quite simply, bulgur is wheat that has been parboiled and cracked. Most often it's made from durum wheat, but can also be made from hard red wheat and soft white wheat. We offer two varieties: one made from the hard red wheat and one from the soft white wheat. We call them Bulgur and Golden (Light) Bulgur, respectively. Because it is essentially just wheat, bulgur does contain gluten. If you must avoid gluten, try whole grain millet or kasha for a similar texture and flavor.
How do you use it? What we love about bulgur is its incredible versatility. A great "starter" recipe for bulgur is our tabbouleh recipe found on the package. It's simple to prepare and has a lovely balance of flavors between the nutty wheat, tangy tomatoes, and hint of mint. Bulgur can be used in salads, soups, casseroles, and pilafs, as well as added to baked goods for a nutty crunch. Try these Lemon Bulgur Poundcakes for a real treat! This Bulgur Asparagus Salad is one of our favorites and a great way to enjoy the bounty of spring. Bulgur can be used in place of meat in casseroles, as it has a chewy texture that replicates ground beef quite nicely. Add it to meatballs and meatloaf to stretch the dish and boost the whole grain content.