Oh my gosh! That’s all I could say after I first tasted this super simple, but extremely delicious, earthy, aromatic and importantly, healthy plate of gorgeousness.
It was quite a last minute decision to prepare this dish for lunch from Ottolenghi’s book “Simple” and definitely no regrets. It will be on the agenda very often, that is for sure. It is perfect on its own, but I can definitely imagine it as a side with some grilled fish or any meat as well.
I love bulgur, very often use it instead of rice as a side dish, so I was very happy to see this recipe. Bulgur contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, and a substantial amount of fiber. It is a good source manganese, magnesium and iron and also slightly lower in calories than other whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa.
I cook the bulgur a bit differently than Ottolenghi, so please check the “Tips” section for my version of preparation.
Look at this picture – doesn’t it look gorgeous? Wait until you taste it!
Ingredients (serves 2ish as a main, or 4 as a side)
- 150g bulgur wheat
- 250ml boiling water
- 65ml olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced (170g prepped weight)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 500g mixed mushrooms, sliced 4mm-5mm thick (or torn apart if wild)
- 2 tbsp picked thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 10g dill, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
- 60g feta, broken into 1cm-2cm pieces
- 1 tsp Urfa chilli flakes (or ½ tsp of regular chilli flakes)
- salt and black pepper
Instructions (directly from Ottolenghi):
- Rinse the bulgur and place in a large bowl. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, then pour over the boiling water. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and set aside for 20 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the bulgur is soft. Drain, if there is any liquid left, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons of oil into a large sauté pan and place on a medium high heat. Add the onion and fry for 7-8 minutes, until soft and caramelised. Add ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds and continue to fry for 1-2 minutes, until dark golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan and increase the heat to high. Mix in the mushrooms and ½ teaspoon of salt and fry for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have browned and softened. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds and the thyme and continue to heat for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook for about 30 seconds: it should reduce to practically nothing. Stir in the bulgur, onion, dill, feta and chilli flakes, until warmed through, then remove from the heat.
- Spoon the bulgur and mushrooms on to a large platter or two individual plates. Sprinkle over some extra dill, drizzle with the remaining oil and serve.
- Bulgur prep: instead of Ottolenghi’s technique, I add 300 ml of water to the 150 g bulgur and boil it on the stove. Once it boils, I lower the heat to the minimum and cover it, until it absorbs all the water. It will take 10-15 minutes.
- Mushroom: Try to use a variety of mushrooms for this recipe, if available, it will enhance the flavour even more.
- Thyme: Unfortunately, my grocery store did not have fresh thyme this time, so I had to use dried thyme instead. It worked absolutely fine, however, I definitely recommend using fresh if possible.
Enjoy and until next time,
Nora from My Honeycomb Kitchen
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