Dietary guidelines say you need at least 3 servings of whole grains each day. But if you don’t know barley from bulgur, here’s a guide to versatile grains, from amaranth to wheat berries.
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Bulgur is familiar to many of us through the Middle Eastern dishes tabbouleh and kibbeh. Bulgur is wheat that has been steamed whole, dried, then cracked. So bulgur is essentially precooked and quick to prepare. It comes in three grinds—fine (#1), medium (#2), and coarse (#3). Fine and medium bulgurs are used for tabbouleh, and the coarse is good in pilafs. Bulgur, especially fine bulgur, needs only to be soaked to become tender, but it can also be cooked pilaf-style. You can find bulgur in Middle Eastern markets as well as natural foods stores.