Whole grain hot cereal is one of my breakfast mainstays and I am always looking for new ways to prepare and combine grains with complementary fruits, nuts, and flavorings. The "Breakfast Bulgur with Pears and Pecans" (page 522) caught my eye this week since we had extra pears around that were getting ripe and needed to be eaten. The ingredients were simple, basically just the grain, diced pears, and chopped pecans, and the preparation fast, something I especially appreciate in a weekday breakfast. Although the recipe called for the bulgur to be cooked on the stove top, I usually just "soak" my bulgur by adding equal parts boiling water to grain in a bowl, covering, and letting sit for about 20-25 minutes. This doesn’t save time, but it is easier, as it doesn't have to be stirred or tended to. While the bulgur soaks, I finish the rest of the meal preparation.
The recipe called for adding margarine to the cooked bulgur along with the pears and pecans, but I omitted this step. When putting all the ingredients together, I kept thinking a little vanilla extract would be a nice addition, so I added ¼ teaspoon to the mix. Oh yes, this was a good choice! There are no suggestions as to what to top the cooked cereal with, but any of the regular choices work well here, such as brown sugar or maple syrup and non-dairy milk. I added a sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of soy milk to mine, and it was delicious. The pears added enough flavor and were plenty sweet without adding other sweeteners.
This recipe is easy, hearty, very tasty, and a wonderful dish to make in the Autumn when pears are at their peak.