Have you tried freekeh? Also called farik, frikeh, and green wheat, it is wheat that is picked when young (i.e. green), and then dried and roasted. It looks a lot like bulgur or farro, and can be used in many of the same ways. While it is an ancient grain that has been popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa for centuries, I’ve noticed that it’s starting to get its due in the US as well. Living in Israel it is readily available in the bulk bins, and it has become one of my favorite ways to add a wholesome grain to my meal.
With all of its nutritional benefits, freekeh is the latest ingredient to be labeled a “superfood.” It has four times the amount of fiber than brown rice, plus many more vitamins and minerals than traditional wheat. The flavor is nutty and lightly smoky, while the texture is pleasantly chewy. It is super easy to prepare and takes only about 20 minutes to cook. Serve it on its own as a side, turn it into a pilaf, or toss it with your favorite veggies to make a freekeh salad like this. If you are interested in learning more about freekeh I highly recommend this article in Gastronomica, Roasting Green Wheat in the Galilee.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup freekeh (green wheat)
- 1-3/4 cups water
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
- ¼ cup roughly chopped or torn basil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan or small pot over medium heat.
- Add the freekeh and stir until fully coated in oil and lightly toasted, about four minutes.
- Add the water to cover and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer until the water has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
- Lower the heat and cover. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the water is fully absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and allow to rest, covered, for five minutes.
- Fluff with a fork.
- Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
- Add the cucumber, tomatoes, basil and lemon juice, and toss.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
After skipping the blog hop last week, I’m excited to be back! This week’s theme is grains, which is quite broad. I am interested in your recipes using whole grains, not refined grains like flour. If you need help figuring out what counts, this and this might help. I’m thinking barley, bulgur, quinoa, rice, and, of course, freekeh.