Friday 13 April 2012

Freaky Friday

Ottolenghi plentyActually, 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.

freekehFreekeh [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]

pilaf with pinenuts


  • 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
  1. Sauté onions in butter and oil in a large pot for 15-20 min
  2. Soak grains 5 min in cold water, drain, rinse, and drain
  3. Add freekeh and spices to onions plus stock, salt, pepper
  4. Stir, bring to boil. Cover. Simmer 15 min
  5. Leave covered 5 mins, remove lid , cool further 5 mins
  6. Meanwhile mix yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt
  7. Stir herbs into warm [not hot] pilaf
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning. Spoon into dishes, top with a generous dollop of yogurt.
  9. 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!


  1. Wow my tummy is rumbling at the sight of that platter. I will defiantly see if my library has this book x

    1. do google him - many of the recipes in the book came originally from his Guardian column so you can find him online!

    2. I have and found lots

      Thank you

  2. Mmm. Don't think PC and suns would approve! Meat and veg Irishmen!

  3. It's alway good to have a few meatless meals. The pilaf ingredients sound delicious and "healthy"

  4. Make it vegan, and I'll be right there!!
    Jane x

  5. That looks delicious. I have never heard of freekeh before. I will loook out for it and give it a try. :o)


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