Recipe: Minted Bulgur Wheat with Fennel & Apple

Minted Bulgur Wheat with Fennel & Apple

I’ve been a fennel-hater for as long as I can remember.  In fact anything with a vaguely aniseed/anise flavour is completely off the menu as far as I’m concerned – liquorice, sambuca, tarragon, ouzo, pernod…. a sad state of affairs.

However, I had a bit of a fennel revelation whilst on a ‘Flavours of Sicily’ cookery course at the Vegetarian Society some years ago.  We braised fennel slowly in stock with onions, garlic and all sorts of other lovely things and somehow it ended up being absolutely delicious and not overpoweringly aniseed-y.

Since then I’ve experimented with various other ways of cooking it, and the one I’ve featured in this Minted Bulgur Wheat with Fennel & Apple recipe is always a winner – simply roasted until golden and slightly crispy at the edges.  It still has anise overtones but most of all is caramel-sweet with a bit of crunch.

Here I’ve combined it with some of my favourite things to eat on a hot summers day – feta, apple, spring onions, deliciously nutty bulgur wheat, broad beans and peas, and a mint & parsley dressing.  Such a great supper in its own right, or a knockout salad to serve alongside a BBQ or buffet.

(I should point out that the serving in the photos was in fact for 4, whilst the recipe serves 2 – don’t be fooled!).

Minted Bulgur Wheat with Fennel & Apple 2

Minted Bulgur Wheat with Fennel & Apple
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side salad
Ingredients
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 2 tbsp oil (rapeseed, olive or whatever you have to hand)
  • 250g bulgur wheat
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 75g broad beans (podded weight) fresh or frozen
  • 75g peas (podded weight) fresh or frozen
  • large handful mint leaves
  • large handful parsley
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 apple, cored and finely sliced
  • 100g feta cheese (check it is vegetarian)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4. Slice the fennel bulb in half through the root, then slice each half as finely as you can. Place on a baking tray, then drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender and starting turn a deep brown at the edges. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, place the bulgur wheat and vegetable stock a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. After 5 minutes, add the peas and broad beans. Cook over a low heat for a further 10 minutes or until the stock has been absorbed and the bulgur wheat is cooked, (it should still have some bite and a nutty flavour). Season with salt and black pepper, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Next, whizz together the mint, parsley, olive oil, vinegar and mustard in a small blender (or chop finely and whisk together by hand in a bowl).
  4. To serve, stir the herby dressing through the bulgur wheat. Sprinkle over the apple slices, then the spring onions, crumble over the feta, and top with the roasted fennel.
Make it Vegan: Just omit the feta.  How about adding some almonds or pine nuts to boost the protein content?

If you like the look of this recipe please follow me for more…. on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.  Thanks!  Kate x

For more Bulgur Wheat ideas, have a look at these blogging friends’ recipes:

I’ve entered this recipe in Jac’s Meat Free Mondays Challenge over at the fabulous Tinned Tomatoes – do hop over for a look.

12 comments

  1. This looks lovely – I adore fennel so will have to try this. It looks like it’d make a lovely light lunch too.

    1. Thanks Penelope!

  2. This looks lovely and really summery. Yum!

    1. Thanks Helen! x

  3. What a lovely combination of ingredients, it looks so refreshing and delicious.

    1. Thanks Nayna!

  4. I’m with you on all of those, plus dill, but excepting liquorice which I like (and to me isn’t aniseed flavoured). I’ve always avoided fennel but given a similar liking of celeriac when it was roasted (I’m a celery hater too), perhaps I should give fennel a try…

    1. Glad I’ve found a fellow anise-hater, and with you all the way on dill! Do give roasted fennel a try though – completely different!

  5. Sounds delicious, Kate 😀 Love all the fresh herbs and flavours you’ve used.

    1. Thanks Nadia!

  6. A gorgeous recipe Kate. I’ve featured it in this week’s Meat Free Mondays), stumbled, pinned and tweeted. Could you link up to meat free mondays please. I want everyone to get as many new readers as possible

    1. Hi Jac, Thanks so much and really sorry to have missed off a link – now added and thanks so much for including my recipes in your roundups.
      Kate

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