If you enjoy Mediterranean flavours, such as basil and parmesan cheese, but are bored with pasta, which often accompanies these ingredients, then this butternut squash bulgur wheat loaf might be a good alternative. It is easy to prepare, cooks in one dish and is a perfect everyday healthy side recipe.
I love bulgur wheat for its mildly nutty flavour, interesting texture and above all, convenience. Bulgur wheat does not need to be cooked but only soaked for 20 minutes to rehydrate (see the instructions below)! This is why I often choose it over rice (as I have in my stuffed tomatoes recipe) or pasta, as I have in this recipe. Oh, and it’s nutritious too! But I’ve said that before.
Another reason I like this bulgur wheat loaf is that you can actually slice it which makes for a nice neat looking side dish. Sprinkle with some fresh lemon zest or paprika for a bit of colour or even spice it up with some cayenne pepper. Tastes delicious with grilled chicken!
Enjoy this autumny (butternut squash!) different yet simple side recipe idea!
320 g butternut squash, peeled, coarsely grated
2/3 cup raw bulgur wheat, plus 2/3 cup boiling water for rehydrating it
1 and 1/3 cup parmesan, finely grated
6-7 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus a little more for greasing the tin)
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plenty of pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
Cayenne pepper and lemon zest for garnish (optional)
Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl, add 2/3 cup boiling water and leave to stand, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C/ gas mark 5. Grease a medium size loaf tin with a little oil and coat with the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the butternut squash, basil, parmesan, garlic, oil, salt and pepper, paprika and bulgur (once it’s cooled down a little). Stir thoroughly. Tip into the baking tin, press down to make the loaf more solid, cover with tin foil and pop in the oven for 40 minutes. Serve sliced, sprinkled with some lemon zest, more paprika or cayenne pepper.