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Classic risotto calls for arborio rice, but I make it a habit to use dried bulgur as it cooks up into a nice creamy dish (like classic risotto) but delivers a much more powerful dose of fibre, protein, iron, B-vitamins and magnesium.  All things we need.  Add this to your list!

PREP TIME:  5-10 min

COOK TIME:  30 min

SERVES:  4 as a main, 6-8 as a starter or side



  • 5-6 cups (1-1 ½ L) chicken or vegetable stock

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced (1 cup/120 g)

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 ½ cups (275g) bulgur

  • ¾ cup (180 ml) dry white wine

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 Tbsp (15 g) butter, softened to room temperature

  • 1/3 cup (30 g) grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnishing

  • Handful of fresh, chopped basil to garnish


  • 200 g brown mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • Salt & pepper to taste



1)  Pour your stock into a 2 QT or 2 L saucepan, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to low and keep it on a low simmer.


2)  In a 3 QT 3 L pot, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat.  Add onions and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.


3)  Add bulgur and stir to coat, then pour in the wine and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid is mostly evaporated.


4)  Reduce heat to medium-low and start adding the simmering stock ½ cup at a time, cooking until absorbed, stirring frequently.  When the stock has nearly evaporated, add the next ½ cup and repeat.


5)  Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat and sauté mushrooms for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to get that browning process started.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes.


6)  Add 1 clove diced garlic, season with salt and pepper and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to low to keep warm while the bulgur finishes cooking.



7)  Keep adding stock to the bulgur until it is “al dente”, meaning soft but still has a bit of a bite.


8)  Add the sautéed mushrooms to the bulgur and salt to taste.


9)  Stir in 1 Tbsp butter, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.



Spoon into shallow bowls and garnish with fresh basil and a bit more parmesan.  Serve immediately.




Go for a dry white wine like sauvignon blanc or pinot gris/pinot grigio.


Buying pre-sliced mushrooms reduces the prep time from 10 minute to 5 minutes.  I always go for the brown button mushrooms or baby portabellas (they have more flavor than the plain white mushrooms).  Porcini and other wild mushrooms are also great, just more expensive.


Salt will always be different based on the saltiness of your stock.  The stock I use is organic and light on the salt, so I add ¾ tsp of salt to the risotto.  If using stock made from a bullion cube (sacrilege…but ok, sometimes it happens) then you likely won’t need to add any salt at all.



I sauté the mushrooms separately as I like the browning effect/taste, and even get them almost crispy.  If you’re not in the mood to mess with a separate pan for the mushrooms, just chuck them in with the bulgur after you’ve added the first 2 cups of stock - it will still taste great.


If you do sauté your mushrooms, don’t be tempted to add more than 2 Tbsp of oil to the pan.  They will soak it up immediately so your pan will look dry, but mushrooms release a lot of their own liquid back into the pan as they cook, so don’t let them fool you!



This recipe makes enough for 4 people as a main, but I make this much even when there’s only 2 of us eating as I love using the leftovers to make Risotto Cakes.  Simply let the leftover risotto cool completely, mix in an egg yolk, shape into rounds, cover and refrigerate overnight.  Cook over medium heat in a bit of oil for 10 minutes a side and you’ve got a great lunch or starter!

Chickpea and Quinoa Tabbouleh
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