A great alternative to rice pilaf, bulgur pilaf is just as easy to make. One of the first things I had to learn to make as an “Armenian wife” was pilaf, and I have to admit I have not yet quite mastered rice pilaf. My bulgur pilaf, however, comes out perfect each time. It is chewy yet fluffy, filling yet light! The traditional way to make it is to cook it with vermicelli, but in my house our rice always had toasted pine nuts or almonds, so that is how I serve it too.
My husband loves pilaf, and if it was up to him he would have it at least a couple of times a week. I hadn’t made it in quite a few months (since last winter in fact!), and after his stellar help in the house over the last few weeks I just felt the need to make his favorite bulgur pilaf. I have also been making lots of my and his childhood favorites, and I will do my best to share them all with you!
Make this pilaf as a side for your next dinner, and be sure to save some leftovers for yourself. It is even better the next day!
Inspired by Aunt Naomi’s recipe
1 tbs butter
1 cup bulgur wheat (medium grain)
2 cups hot chicken broth (you may substitute vegetable broth)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup pine nuts
Melt the butter in a medium pot. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the bulgur and toast for 1 minute. Pour in the broth and salt, stir, and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Do not remove the lid during this time. After 15 minutes remove the pot from the heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast your pine nuts in a skillet (you may add butter if you like) for a minute or two until fragrant. Fluff the bulgur with a fork, put into serving dish, and top with toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!
Note: As I shared in #2 of this post from November 2007, I was taught that a good bulgur pilaf relies on the pot. Test out a few different pots with tight-fitting lids until you find the right one, and then never let it go.