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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bulghur, bulgur, bulgar, or burghul?

However you spell it, bulghur is delicious!

Bulghur is wheat that is parboiled, dried, and then coarsely ground. At that time, the outer layers of the bran are removed, after which the grains are cracked. It has a distinctive nutty taste, and is high in fibre and proteins and low in fat - it's a good substitute for rice or cous cous if you're watching your weight as it's more nutritious. Traditionally it's used to make tabouli and pilafs.

I like to cook bulghur in chicken stock to add extra flavour, then mix through vegetables and a dash of olive oil to make a salad. It's great to take to work for lunch (although I wouldn't use lettuce if I was going to let it sit overnight).

Bulghur & Tuna Salad

Serves 3-4

1 cup uncooked coarse bulghur
1 & 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 large can of tuna
Several leaves of lettuce, shredded/sliced finely
2 medium carrots, grated
2 spring onions, sliced finely
Salt & Pepper
Good quality extra-virgin olive oil

Rinse the bulgur, then place into a pot with the chicken stock (the bulghur will expand, so use a good sized pot). Cover with a lid.

Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer until all the liquid has been soaked up. Turn off the heat, take the lid off and cover the top of the pot with a clean tea towel. Place the lid on top of the tea towel and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Fluff the bulghur up with a fork, and place into a large bowl. Drain the tuna and add this to the bowl with the lettuce, carrots and spring onions. Toss all the ingredients together, season well with salt and pepper and add a good dash of olive oil.

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