Freekeh and Roast Vegetable Salad
This is one of those non-recipe recipes, the ones you turn to again and again when, although you have tons of cookbooks, you haven’t a clue what to make. I usually make this dish with quinoa, but this time I’ve chosen to use freekeh, a grain I’ve been meaning to try for an age.
Freekeh (pronounced free-kay) also known as frikeh or farik, is green durum wheat used in Levantine and North African cuisines. The roasting of the grain gives it a traditional smoking flavour which pairs beautifully with the roasted vegetables in this dish. I’m sure there are myriad of recipes similar to this, but I’m rather partial to this one. Enjoy.
You will need
100 g freekeh
500 ml chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 medium butternut squash
1/2 fennel bulb – reserve leaves for garnish
1 med red onion
2 red peppers
1 med aubergine
100 g cooked chickpeas
4 sprigs each of fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley
3 black cardamon pods seeds removed and ground
6 tbsp olive oil plus extra for frying
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
To begin, preheat your oven at 200C or equivalent. Put the Freekeh in a bowl and add enough cold water to just cover. Soak for about 20 minutes.
Chop all of the vegetables into chunks an inch or so in size. Remove the herb leaves from the stems and roughly chop reserving a little of each to garnish along with the fennel leaves.
Place the chopped vegetable in a large bowl, add the herbs, black cardamon and 6 tablespoons of olive oil and toss the vegetables until completely covered. Line a large baking tray with foil and spread all of the vegetables out in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Drain the freekeh, place in a saucepan, add the broth and simmer for 14 minutes.
Add some olive oil to a small non-stick frying pan and bring to med-high heat. Fry the chickpeas until lightly crispy, then place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
When the vegetables are roasted allow them to cool slightly before adding the freekeh. Mix together thoroughly.
Serve garnished with the fried chickpeas and the reserved herbs.