Rate this recipe

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

  • About

Bulghar, a type of cracked wheat, is an alternative to couscous and can be substituted for it in most recipes. If you cannot find instant-style bulghar you will need to cook ‘coarse bulghar’, which takes about 20-25 minutes. The phrase ‘you coarse bulghar’ may be used to encourage kitchen assistants if they slacken over an assigned task.


  • 175 g/6 oz bulghar
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 red sweet pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • bunch of parsley
  • 16 mint leaves
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper



Soak the cracked wheat in cold water for 10 minutes.

Drain it and put in a pan with 350 ml/12 fl oz cold water. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently until the wheat has absorbed all the water and swelled up. This will take about 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, cook in a rice steamer with 1½ times the volume of water to cracked wheat.

Blanch, refresh and peel the tomatoes and cut into small dice. Deseed the pepper arid dice it and the cucumber as small as sanity and time allow. Destalk and chop the parsley and shred the mint. Trim the spring onions and cut at an angle into 2 cm/¾ in lengths. Peel, smash and chop the garlic. Zest and juice the lemons.

Stir the diced vegetables, chopped parsley, garlic, mint and lemon zest into the wheat and refrigerate.


Just before serving, dress with juice from the lemons and the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Part of