I love experimenting with different grains. Freekeh is actually an ancient middle eastern grain that is a staple of the region. It is actually Wheat that has been harvested when it is very young and roasted over an open fire and rubbed to yield the grain inside which is firm and slightly chewy with a distinct earthy, nutty and somewhat smoky flavor. It is easy to prepare, just as you would rice and loaded with great nutrition (high in protein, fiber and lucene). In addition to all that, it is delicious!
- 1 cup freekeh
- 2 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
- 1 head orange cauliflower, (or whatever variety is available)
- 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
- 1 cup Kalamata pitted olives
- 1/4 cup olive oil, approximately
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Juice of 1 fresh squeezed lemon
Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Spread sweet potatoes on a sheet pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and smoked paprika. Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing once or twice until crispy on outside and tender inside. Place cauliflower on a separate sheet pan and drizzle with an additional couple of tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and Greek seasoning. Roast cauliflower florets in oven for about 15 minutes until tender. While vegetables roast, prepare freekeh by heating a tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan. Toast the grains on medium heat until browning just a bit. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Transfer grains to a large bowl, add lemon juice, parsley and red onion. Toss in roasted vegetables and olives. Adjust seasonings to taste and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature as a complement to fish or chicken or tossed in green salad. Enjoy!