Actually, that should be Freekeh Friday. Last month I borrowed Yotam Ottolenghi’s book ‘Plenty’ from the library. The Vegetable Paella from the book was very successful. I copied out one other recipe – Freekeh Pilaf -and finally tried it out – last Friday. It used to be traditional to shun meat on Good Friday, so it seemed appropriate to cook a vegetarian meal.
Freekeh [sometimes frikeh or farik] is a grain product made from roasted green wheat. Yotam says you can substitute bulgur wheat, and as I had some bulgur, plus all the other ingredients I thought I’d give it a try.
Here’s a picture of what the pilaf should look like [with pinenuts]
FREEKEH PILAF Serves 2-4
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced
- 25g butter
- 1tbsp oil plus a drizzle
- 150g freekeh or bulgur wheat
- ¼tsp cinnamon
- ¼tsp allspice
- 270g veg stock
- 100g Greek yogurt
- 1½tsp lemon juice
- ½ garlic clove crushed
- 10g chopped parsley + garnish
- 10g chopped mint
- 10g chopped coriander
- 2tbsp pine nuts toasted [or walnuts] roughly broken
- salt and pepper
- Sauté onions in butter and oil in a large pot for 15-20 min
- Soak grains 5 min in cold water, drain, rinse, and drain
- Add freekeh and spices to onions plus stock, salt, pepper
- Stir, bring to boil. Cover. Simmer 15 min
- Leave covered 5 mins, remove lid , cool further 5 mins
- Meanwhile mix yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt
- Stir herbs into warm [not hot] pilaf
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Spoon into dishes, top with a generous dollop of yogurt.
- Sprinkle with nuts and parsley and drizzle of oil.
I used walnuts, and skipped the coriander [I didn’t have any, and furthermore I don’t like the taste!]
I made two simple salads to go with the pilaf – one was grated carrot with sultanas and onion seeds, and the other a mix of green salad leaves plus some cucumber. I served them up in my huge platter.
Some pita bread would have been a good Mediterranean accompaniment, but I had none to hand – so we each had a slice of sunflower seed German rye bread [courtesy Approved Foods]
It was all remarkably delicious, and felt exceedingly healthy!