Bulgur Collard Cakes

Repeat after me: bulgur is not boring.

Au contraire, bulgur might just revolutionize your life. If you think that’s a tall order, what other grain really can make the leap from breakfast to lunch with the ease of this whole grain? Oats have their hands full keeping breakfast on the table in the winter months. Rice definitely can play both hands in the form of cereal or steamed side.

SIDE DISH RECIPES- Bulgur Collard Cakes

In Middle Eastern cultures, bulgur wheat is a household staple for good reason. Here in the U.S., we might be more apt to write it off as a grain we bring into the house only when we want to whip up a tabbouleh recipe. I recently polled a handful of readers to hear other ways they might cook up bulgur. One suggested kibbe as an option and another suggested a link to a kofte recipe that’s in Turkish. Given that my Turkish is non-existent and my propensity for new languages in 2012 is at a minimum, I forged ahead, playing with this grain that had begun to tickle my curiosity with its nutty flavor.

Like rice, bulgur shares a cooking time of about 10-20 minutes depending on the cut of the bulgur. Finer cuts cook quicker and more coarse cuts take longer. Intrigued by taking on bulgur as a side dish and breakfast, I cooked up several ways to make tasty and unexpected additions to meals with this largely ignored and misunderstood grain.

So if you’re looking for something to spruce up the winter table, opt for something simple and go with this humble whole grain.

bulgur collard cakes recipe

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BULGUR COLLARD CAKES
I picked up some beautiful mushrooms from Far West Fungi this past weekend at the farmer’s market and a small tub of Cowgirl Creamery fromage blanc. They added some noteworthy flavors to these cakes. You can use bella brown mushrooms or the regular white variety of mushrooms if you can’t get your hands on King Trumpets. The King Trumpet mushrooms gave a slightly sweet nutty flavor to the cakes. If you don’t have access to fromage blanc, you can easily substitute in cream cheese. Nutmeg is the secret ingredient I use to give collard greens an enticing edge.  Use a cautious hand when adding in the nutmeg- a little goes a long way.

YIELD: 14 cakes

  • 5 small King Trumpet mushrooms, minced
  • 2 cups collard greens, chopped
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fromage blanc
  • nutmeg, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Sauté the garlic and the shallots over medium low heat for 2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute. Next, add the collards to the pan and cook over low heat for a few minutes.
  3. Set a pot with the water to a rolling boil. Add bulgur to the pot and turn down heat so it simmers. Cook for 10 minutes or until the bulgur is chewy and cooked through.
  4. Mix together bulgur and collard mixture in a large bowl and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Add in the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Whisk in the fromage blanc with a fork into the bulgur and collard mixture. Then beat the eggs into the mixture. Once combined, use a regular tablespoon to scoop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a silpat on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Jillena
    January 18, 2012

    Thank you for inspiring dinner tonight! I was able to get close with what I had on hand. I love the use of heavier greens with the wheaty bulgar versus a parsley or cilantro. So much more filling and nutritious. Love it!

    • Leave a Reply

      annelies
      January 19, 2012

      So glad you’ll be trying them J. I bet they would be fantastic served with black beans…

  2. Leave a Reply

    Amber
    January 19, 2012

    These look great! I keep bulgar on hand as a staple. As a vegetarian, I enjoy using it to add a meaty texture to dishes like chili and bean burgers. I look forward to trying these with the mushroom and garlic. Yum!

    • Leave a Reply

      annelies
      January 19, 2012

      Thanks Amber. I bet bulgur is a winner in chili- that’s a great idea! Bulgur’s got a good toothsome quality to it.

    • Leave a Reply

      annelies
      February 13, 2012

      Hi Janet- Your recipe sounds delightful. I think you could try using flax seed “eggs” to make the recipe vegan. Try it with the chia and let me know how that turns out. The cheese, to me, really seemed to add more of a tangy flavor note than work as a binder.

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