Freekeh is the young, green wheat that has been cracked and toasted. It’s a healthy, whole grain and can be substituted for bulgur. This recipe was inspired by Ottolenghi, the great Isreali chef who has several terrific restuarants in the UK. It was demoed by Danielle as part of our “50 Shades of Grain” series in October and November 2015.
1 large onion, thinly slice
2 T olive oil
2/3 C freekeh
1 C vegetable broth
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground allspice
1 C Greek yogurt
2 t fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ garlic clove, minced
1 T each – fresh chopped parsley, mint and/or cilantro
2 T pine nuts, toasted (can substitute sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, walnuts or pecans)
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pot and add the sliced onion. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and brown, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the freekeh in cold water to remove any film or residue. Add the freekeh, cinnamon and allspice to the onions, followed by the broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce the heat to a bare minimum and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it covered for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff to allow steam out and the pilaf to cool down a bit.
While the pilaf is cooling, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and a bit of salt. Taste and adjust for more lemon or salt. When the pilaf has released it’s steam and cooled a bit, add the chopped herbs and nuts. Stir well, taste and adjust for salt. Serve with a generous dollop of yogurt on top and a trickle of olive oil, if desired. Serves 2-4.