CTV Recipes

All Recipes
Clear all
Dietary Concerns
More Options

Search Recipes

Spiced bulgur wheat with roasted vegetables



  • A small bunch of cilantro (approx. 1 cup leaves)
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • 1 heaping cup bulgur wheat
  • 1/4 cup red lentils
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt or kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt)

Roasted vegetables

  • 2 medium leeks (approx. 5 cups sliced, white parts only)
  • 2–3 red bell peppers (approx. 3 cups pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups radishes


1. You don’t have to start on the bulgur wheat straightaway, but as it stands so comfortably once cooked, I tend to do it this way round. Finely chop some of the tender stalks of cilantro, just enough to give you about a tablespoon; peel the garlic; measure out the seeds and red pepper flakes; and have water in a measuring jub by the stove in readiness. If you are in a hurry to eat you could get on with preparing the vegetables now too.

2. Get out a not-too-large heavy-based Dutch oven or saucepan that comes with a tightly fitting lid—I use an enamelled cast-iron one of 8 inches diameter—and very gently warm the oil over low heat. Finely grate in the zest of the orange, and stir it into the oil. Mince or grate in the garlic, add your spoonful of finely chopped cilantro stalks and stir these into the now golden oil for about 30 seconds. Turn the heat up a little, just to medium-low, and add the fennel, cumin, and coriander seeds, followed by the red pepper flakes, and give everything a good stir.

3. Turn the heat to high, and quickly add the bulgur wheat and lentils, and stir again, and well, to make sure everything is mixed together. Now add the water and salt and bring to a boil.

4. Once it’s started bubbling, clamp on the lid and turn the heat back down to low, then leave to cook gently for 15 minutes—you can start chopping your vegetables—by which time all the water should be absorbed.

5. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Wash the leeks to remove any mud if needed, and cut them into approx. 1¼-inch logs, and drop into a sturdy and fairly shallow roasting pan in which, ideally, all the vegetables will sit snugly; I use one that’s 12 x 10 x 2 inches. Cut the red bell peppers (seeding, and discarding any pith in the process) into large bite-sized pieces and add them to the roasting pan along with the whole cherry tomatoes.

6. When time’s up on the bulgur wheat, turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel, clamp the lid back on and leave for 40 minutes, though it will stand happily for a lot longer than this. I routinely leave this for 2 hours.

7. Sprinkle the seeds and salt over the waiting vegetables, then add the oil and schmoosh to mix. Pour 2 tablespoons of cold water and 2 tablespoons of juice from your zested orange into the pan and roast in the hot oven for 30 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be cooked and soft, and the leeks beginning to scorch in parts. While the vegetables are in the oven, halve the radishes from top to bottom.

8. When the leeks, bell peppers and tomatoes have had their 30 minutes, take the pan out of the oven, add the radishes, and mix. Because the vegetables—ideally—fit so snugly in their pan, they make a wonderful strongly flavored juice as they cook. However, if you’ve had to use a bigger pan, you may find that they’re going a little dry, and might be sticking to the pan in places; if so add another tablespoon each of orange juice and water or more as needed. Put back in the oven to roast for another 10 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and let stand while you put the finishing touches on the bulgur wheat.

9. Chop the cilantro leaves. Remove the lid and kitchen towel from the bulgur wheat and use a couple of forks to mix everything together in the saucepan and, importantly, to separate and fluff up the grains.

10. Tip into a serving bowl or dish, add most of your chopped cilantro and fork it in. Add a third of the roasted vegetables and mix in well but lightly with your two forks. Taste for seasoning—I often want to add more salt at this stage. Top with the remaining roasted vegetables, and sprinkle with the rest of the cilantro.

You might like

View All Recipes
One Pot Tomato Orzo One Pot Tomato Orzo
Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter Tomatoes Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter Tomatoes
Greek Tacos Greek Tacos
Charlie Barely Meatballs Charlie Barely Meatballs
Saka Saka Saka Saka
Fish Meuniere Fish Meuniere