I sometimes spoon some seasoned yoghurt – with a little salt, pepper and paprika – over this at the table, stirring it into the grains. But mostly I leave the pilaf as it is, enjoying the warm, homely grains and juicy nuggets of mushroom as they are.
Enough for 4
smoked streaky bacon 200g
olive oil 2 tbsp
garlic 2 cloves
small mushrooms 250g
bulgur wheat, medium fine 250g
boiling water from the kettle 400ml
parsley 3-4 sprigs
dill 6 sprigs
Cut the bacon rashers into short, thick pieces. Peel the onions and slice them thinly.
Warm a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large, shallow pan over a low heat, add the sliced bacon and stir occasionally till the fat has turned pale gold.
Peel and finely chop the garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and leave till soft, golden and translucent, stirring from time to time.
Quarter the mushrooms and add them to the softening onions. Leave them to cook for 5 minutes or so, with the occasional stir.
Add the bulgur with a pinch of salt, then pour the boiling water on top. Cover tightly, switch off the heat and leave for 15 minutes.
Roughly chop the parsley leaves and dill. Lift the lid from the pan and add the butter, herbs and a little salt and pepper. Stir till the grains are glossy with butter, then serve.
• Nigel's new book, Kitchen Diaries II, is published by Fourth Estate at £30. To order a copy for £19.99 (including free UK mainland p&p), go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop or call 0330 333 6846.