Let’s get Freekeh!
When I originally came up with the concept for a roast veggie salad, I imagined a roasted vegetable mix with farro or wheat berries. But then I realized that we had a whole box of freekeh that would pair perfectly with roast veggies and Pomegranate molasses vinaigrette.
What is freekeh (فريكة)? It’s a grain, more specifically a green wheat, that’s most popular in Middle Eastern foods. Generally, you can make freekeh on it’s own, with a side of roast chicken, or you can boil it in a soup. Freekeh has a smoky flavor, that—according to my research— is made naturally by burning the straw part (not the seeds) of the grain. The whole process of preparing freekeh is actually a lot more work than I imagined. But all worth it. You’ll only fully understand the intense flavor of freekeh when you’ve tried it.
I’m aware that it’s well past squash and root vegetable season, but I just couldn’t go without sharing this recipe. If you’d like, you can substitute the acorn and butternut squash for yellow and green zucchini, and some eggplant too. Don’t forget to use different colored carrots. They add lots of color and taste divine.
- 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
- 1/2 acorn squash, cut into slices
- 1 Russet Potato, cubed
- 1 Sweet Potato, cubed
- 1 parsnip, cubed
- 1 cup multi-colored carrots, cubed
- 1/2 red onion, cut into large wedges
- 1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup Freekeh
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- !For the Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- In a large bowl, mix together the vegetables with 1/4 cup olive oil and salt until coated
- Spread the vegetables out in an even layer on a rimmed baking tray
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the veggies are charred then set aside
- Meanwhile, wash the freekeh very well until the water is clear
- Soak the freekeh for 5-10 minutes in lukewarm water, then drain
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan
- Add the freekeh and sauté for 1-2 minutes
- Cover the freekeh with chicken stock and bring to a boil
- Once the water is boiling, turn down the heat the medium-low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the freekeh has absorbed all the stock
- In a large bowl, mix together the roasted veggies and cooked freekeh until combined
- Serve over a bed of spring mix lettuce and Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette
- In a small bowl whisk together the Pomegranate Molasses, olive oil, salt, and apple cider vinegar. Pour over the salad.