youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo whatsapp Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Email Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Spiced Bulgur Wheat with Roast Vegetables

by . Featured in COOK EAT REPEAT
Print me

Introduction

This is one of the recipes that is in constant rotation in my house: no matter how often I eat it, I never tire of it. The scorched sweetness of leeks and red peppers, the brightness of tomatoes and pepperiness of radishes give this a rich complexity, for all that it is relaxingly straightforward to make. And the bulgur wheat is the perfect foil. While it’s enough for 3-4, I am happy enough to cook full quantities for two, to have leftovers in the fridge to be eaten cold (or rather, at room temperature) with a little olive oil and lemon juice stirred in later, though of course you can simply reheat it. It happens to be vegan, should this be of concern, but even if it isn’t, it is a dish that brightens up even the darkest day.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is one of the recipes that is in constant rotation in my house: no matter how often I eat it, I never tire of it. The scorched sweetness of leeks and red peppers, the brightness of tomatoes and pepperiness of radishes give this a rich complexity, for all that it is relaxingly straightforward to make. And the bulgur wheat is the perfect foil. While it’s enough for 3-4, I am happy enough to cook full quantities for two, to have leftovers in the fridge to be eaten cold (or rather, at room temperature) with a little olive oil and lemon juice stirred in later, though of course you can simply reheat it. It happens to be vegan, should this be of concern, but even if it isn’t, it is a dish that brightens up even the darkest day.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Spiced Bulgur Wheat with Roast Vegetables
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Serves: 3-4

Metric Cups

For the Bulgur Wheat

  • A small bunch - approx. 25 grams - fresh coriander
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 375 millilitres cold water
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • 200 grams bulgur wheat
  • 50 grams red lentils
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt flakes (or ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt)

For the Roast Vegetables

  • 400 grams leeks (trimmed weight)
  • 400 grams (2-3) red peppers
  • 200 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (or ½ teaspoon fine sea salt)
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons olive oil
  • 150 grams radishes

For the Bulgur Wheat

  • A small bunch - approx. 1 ounce - cilantro
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1½ cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • 1 heaping cup bulgur wheat
  • ¼ cup red lentils
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt (or ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt)

For the Roast Vegetables

  • approx. 1¼ pounds leeks (trimmed weight)
  • 14 ounces (2-3) red bell peppers
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon fine sea salt)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups radishes

Method

  1. You don’t have to start on the bulgur wheat straightaway, but as it stands so comfortably once cooked, I tend to do it this way round. Finely chop some of the tender stalks of coriander, just enough to give you about a tablespoon; peel the garlic; measure out the seeds and chilli flakes; and have water in a jug by the hob in readiness. If you are in a hurry to eat you could get on with preparing the vegetables now too.
  2. Get out a not-too-large heavy-based casserole or pan that comes with a tightly fitting lid – I use an enamelled cast-iron one of 20cm / 8in diameter – and very gently warm the oil over low heat. Finely grate in the zest of the orange, and stir it into the oil. Mince or grate in the garlic, add your spoonful of finely chopped coriander stalks and stir these into the now golden oil for about 30 seconds. Turn the heat up a little, just to medium-low, and add the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds, followed by the chilli flakes, and give everything a good stir.
  3. Turn the heat to high, and quickly add the bulgur wheat and lentils, and stir again, and well, to make sure everything is mixed together. Now add the water and salt and bring to the boil.
  4. Once it’s started bubbling, clamp on the lid and turn the heat back down to low, then leave to cook gently for 15 minutes – you can start chopping your vegetables – by which time all the water should be absorbed.
  5. Heat the oven to 220℃/200℃ Fan/425°F. Wash the leeks to remove any mud if needed, and cut them into approx. 3cm logs, and drop into a sturdy and fairly shallow roasting tin in which, ideally, all the vegetables will sit snugly; I use one that’s 29 x 25 x 5cm / 12 x 10 x 2in. Cut the red peppers (deseeding, and discarding any pith in the process) into large bite-sized pieces and add them to the roasting tin along with the whole cherry tomatoes.
  6. When time’s up on the bulgur wheat, turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean tea towel, clamp the lid back on and leave for 40 minutes, though it will stand happily for a lot longer than this. I routinely leave this for 2 hours.
  7. Sprinkle the seeds and salt over the waiting vegetables, then add the oil and schmoosh to mix. Pour 2 tablespoons of cold water and 2 tablespoons of juice from your zested orange into the tin and roast in the hot oven for 30 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be cooked and soft, and the leeks beginning to scorch in parts. While the vegetables are in the oven, halve the radishes from top to bottom.
  8. When the leeks, peppers and tomatoes have had their 30 minutes, take the tin out of the oven, add the radishes, and mix. Because the vegetables – ideally – fit so snugly in their tin, they make a wonderful strongly flavoured juice as they cook. However, if you’ve had to use a bigger tin, you may find that they’re going a little dry, and might be sticking to the tin in places; if so add another tablespoon each of orange juice and water or more as needed. Put back in the oven to roast for another 10 minutes. Take the tin out of the oven and let stand while you put the finishing touches on the bulgur wheat.
  9. Chop the coriander leaves. Remove the lid and tea towel from the bulgur wheat and use a couple of forks to mix everything together in the pan and, importantly, to separate and fluff up the grains.
  10. Tip into a serving bowl or dish, add most of your chopped coriander and fork it in. Add a third of the roasted vegetables and mix in well but lightly with your two forks. Taste for seasoning – I often want to add more salt at this stage. Top with the remaining roasted vegetables, and sprinkle with the rest of the coriander.
  1. You don’t have to start on the bulgur wheat straightaway, but as it stands so comfortably once cooked, I tend to do it this way round. Finely chop some of the tender stalks of coriander, just enough to give you about a tablespoon; peel the garlic; measure out the seeds and chilli flakes; and have water in a jug by the hob in readiness. If you are in a hurry to eat you could get on with preparing the vegetables now too.
  2. Get out a not-too-large heavy-based casserole or pan that comes with a tightly fitting lid – I use an enamelled cast-iron one of 20cm / 8in diameter – and very gently warm the oil over low heat. Finely grate in the zest of the orange, and stir it into the oil. Mince or grate in the garlic, add your spoonful of finely chopped coriander stalks and stir these into the now golden oil for about 30 seconds. Turn the heat up a little, just to medium-low, and add the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds, followed by the chilli flakes, and give everything a good stir.
  3. Turn the heat to high, and quickly add the bulgur wheat and lentils, and stir again, and well, to make sure everything is mixed together. Now add the water and salt and bring to the boil.
  4. Once it’s started bubbling, clamp on the lid and turn the heat back down to low, then leave to cook gently for 15 minutes – you can start chopping your vegetables – by which time all the water should be absorbed.
  5. Heat the oven to 220℃/200℃ Fan/425°F. Wash the leeks to remove any mud if needed, and cut them into approx. 3cm logs, and drop into a sturdy and fairly shallow roasting tin in which, ideally, all the vegetables will sit snugly; I use one that’s 29 x 25 x 5cm / 12 x 10 x 2in. Cut the red bell peppers (deseeding, and discarding any pith in the process) into large bite-sized pieces and add them to the roasting tin along with the whole cherry tomatoes.
  6. When time’s up on the bulgur wheat, turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean tea towel, clamp the lid back on and leave for 40 minutes, though it will stand happily for a lot longer than this. I routinely leave this for 2 hours.
  7. Sprinkle the seeds and salt over the waiting vegetables, then add the oil and schmoosh to mix. Pour 2 tablespoons of cold water and 2 tablespoons of juice from your zested orange into the tin and roast in the hot oven for 30 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be cooked and soft, and the leeks beginning to scorch in parts. While the vegetables are in the oven, halve the radishes from top to bottom.
  8. When the leeks, peppers and tomatoes have had their 30 minutes, take the tin out of the oven, add the radishes, and mix. Because the vegetables – ideally – fit so snugly in their tin, they make a wonderful strongly flavoured juice as they cook. However, if you’ve had to use a bigger tin, you may find that they’re going a little dry, and might be sticking to the tin in places; if so add another tablespoon each of orange juice and water or more as needed. Put back in the oven to roast for another 10 minutes. Take the tin out of the oven and let stand while you put the finishing touches on the bulgur wheat.
  9. Chop the coriander leaves. Remove the lid and tea towel from the bulgur wheat and use a couple of forks to mix everything together in the pan and, importantly, to separate and fluff up the grains.
  10. Tip into a serving bowl or dish, add most of your chopped coriander and fork it in. Add a third of the roasted vegetables and mix in well but lightly with your two forks. Taste for seasoning – I often want to add more salt at this stage. Top with the remaining roasted vegetables, and sprinkle with the rest of the coriander.

Additional Information

STORE:
Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 5 days. Reheat in microwave or transfer to ovenproof dish, cover with foil and heat in a 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F oven until piping hot. Or eat cold.

STORE:
Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 5 days. Reheat in microwave or transfer to ovenproof dish, cover with foil and heat in a 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F oven until piping hot. Or eat cold.

Tell us what you think

What 6 Others have said

  • Just made this for my partner and got a 10/10. Fabulously easy and once cooking I got to walk away and do something else for half an hour or so. I wonder if I could use a different ingredient to make it gluten free for my gluten intolerant friends?

    Posted by pauldown on 11th January 2021
  • I love this dish and always combine it with halloumi cheese which roasts beautifully with the vegetables. I serve it up with the vibrant pink beetroot and yoghourt sauce which complements the dish perfectly!

    Posted by Fifi5 on 11th January 2021
  • I've made this three times since the book came out. It is SO good. The colors are vibrant, the flavors are varied and interesting, and it is easy and relaxing to make. I served it with roast butternut and the pink sauce. It was gorgeous!

    Posted by joshv41680 on 10th December 2020
  • Enough to convert anyone to be a vegetarian! Have eaten this alone , but tonight it will be with grilled goat chops. That way I ensure leftovers for tomorrow! It does seem a bit of a faff, but I promise you, bulgar wheat never tasted so good! Thank you Nigella!

    Posted by Jacquigm on 28th November 2020
  • This is soo delicious and I found it easy to throw together,

    Posted by Gerryjoon on 15th November 2020
  • This was a bit of a faff to make and I was in a really bad mood by the time I got it to the table but OH MY DAYS it is DELICIOUS! Totally worth it and I will make this again soon. Absolutely lovely and whole family loved it. Thanks Nigella.

    Posted by Pj841 on 10th November 2020
Show more comments