Freekah is one of Green Prophet’s favorite superfoods. It’s so nutritious, it shouldn’t even taste good – which it does. And it’s versatile. You can substitute it for rice in many recipes, such as our Lebanese Lentil Soup. Always searching for new ways to cook with this light-green grain, I found it featured in the Lebanese-inspired Dirty Kitchen Secrets blog by Bethany.
Cold weather demands dishes that stick to your ribs, and today’s sophisticated palates demand something special by way of layered flavors, texture contrasts, and color. This salad fulfills all those demands. Here’s our variation.
Warm Freekah, Feta, and Fig Salad
2 thinly-sliced red onions
2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil
250 grams – 1 cup clean, rinsed, and drained freekah
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 grams – slightly less than 1/2 cup – chopped dried figs
100 grams – 1/2 cup feta cheese in small cubes
Pinch of ground allspice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Handful of coriander leaves or parsley to garnish
Sauté the onions in the neutral-flavored oil till soft and golden brown. Drain on crumpled newspaper and set aside.
In a medium pan, cover the freekah with the boiling water and salt. Place lid on the pot and cook on low heat for 30 minutes. The grain should have absorbed all the water. If not, cook another 5 minutes. Note: If you prefer it softer, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more boiling water.
Allow the pan to stand 5 minutes, then fluff the freekah up with a fork. Empty it into a serving bowl.
Season with allspice, olive oil, and lemon juice, mixing gently. You may add more olive oil or lemon juice to taste. Do not add more salt, as the feta will provide most of the salt taste.
Mix in the figs and caramelized onions. Top with feta. Garnish with the herbs. Serve warm.
More freekah and Lebanese recipes to get through winter from Green Prophet:
Photo and recipe by Bethany of Dirty Kitchen Secrets.
Miriam also writes the Israeli Kitchen blog.