This bright, bold, hearty bulgur dish radiates hues of golden saffron. Turkey sausage lends deep savor and dinnertime heft to the floral bulgur, and is given the golden treatment with a saffron-infused pomegranate vinaigrette.
And if that isn’t enough, efflorescent caramelized fennel deepens the savory notes, and dried apricots add contrasting texture and pleasant sweetness. Topping it all is Manchego cheese which provides divergent sharpness and saltiness. I errantly shredded the cheese instead of shaving it, but the flavor was still the same.
Very good, and very filling!
Saffron Bulgur with Fennel and Turkey Sausage
- 1 1⁄2 cups medium-grind bulgur (do not use cracked wheat)
- 1⁄4 tsp. table salt, divided, plus more for cooking the bulgur
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 lb. Italian Turkey sausage
- 2 fennel bulbs, 1⁄4 cup fronds, minced, stalks discarded, bulbs halved, cored and sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
- 1⁄2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1⁄2 tsp. pepper, divided
- 1⁄4 tsp. saffron threads, crumbled
- 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 2 oz. Manchego cheese, shaved
- Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in bulgur and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add sausage and cook until browned on all sides and registers 160°, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest. Slice sausage 1/2-inch thick on the diagonal just before serving.
- Pour off all but 2 teaspoons fat from skillet (or add oil to equal 2 teaspoons). Add sliced fennel, apricots, 1⁄2 cup water, 1⁄8 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper, cover, and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
- Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is spotty brown, 2 to 4 minutes; set aside until ready to serve. (This step took 8 minutes for the fennel to start browning.)
- Combine saffron with 2 teaspoons water in a large bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1⁄8 teaspoon salt, 114 teaspoon pepper, pomegranate molasses and lemon zest, then stir in bulgur to coat.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual bowls, then top with fennel mixture and sausage slices. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and Manchego cheese shavings. Serve.
Recipe from “More Mediterranean” by America’s Test Kitchen