Boulgour aux oignons rouges

Bulghur with red onion and mint

This makes a great side dish for roasted meat, poultry or fish, and can feature proudly in a vegetarian meal or a buffet of Mediterranean-themed dishes. Thin rings of red onion, gently sautéd, add depth of flavor to the bulghur, and fresh mint adds a delightful zest.

Bulghur — a form of cracked wheat — is a cinch to prepare. It may be cooked well ahead of time, and in any event you will need to begin the recipe at least an hour before you plan to serve it in order to allow the water enough time to be absorbed.

The proportions of bulghur to water in this recipe most likely differ from the instructions on your bulghur package. Not to worry. Less water ensures that the bulghur will be cooked al dente and retain some crunch and its lovely nuttiness.

1 cup bulghur
2 cups water
1 tsp. sea salt or table salt
1 red onion
1 tbsp. olive oil

a few sprigs of fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Measure out the bulghur into a small bowl.

Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add the salt.

Turn the heat down to low and tip the bowl of bulghur into the water. Turn off the heat and cover the pot tightly.

After about 10 minutes, fluff the bulghur with a fork. Cover the pot again and allow the bulghur to sit until all the water is absorbed.

Shortly before you’re ready to serve, peel the red onion and slice finely into rings. If you find it hard to slice the onion this way, cut it in half lengthwise and slice into half-rings.

Heat the olive oil to sizzling in a large skillet, preferably nonstick. Add the onion slices and sauté, stirring, until the onion rings have wilted and are starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, sprinkle with salt and grind in some black pepper. Add the bulghur to the skillet and stir well to mix.

Remove 10 large mint leaves from the sprigs and snip finely over the skillet. Stir again.

Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Reheat gently. Serves 3-4.

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