Freekeh and Fresh Vegetable Salad: Freekeh, an ancient grain, is packed with fiber and protein. In this recipe, the hearty, versatile grain is paired with a medley of fresh garden vegetables for a nutritious, satisfying salad.
Description: Made from young green durum wheat that is sun-dried, roasted and rubbed, freekeh is a unique ancient grain with a distinct flavor and aroma. Our whole grain Freekeh has a nutty flavor and a pleasantly chewy texture, making for a delicious substitute for pasta and rice. Freekeh is native to the countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Egypt and dates back to at least 2000 BC. According to legend, an Eastern Mediterranean civilization, while preparing for an attack, harvested their young wheat before it matured in order to save their food supply from future damage. After their city came under fire, they were hesitant to throw away their slightly roasted food supply. They rubbed the char off of the wheat heads and found that the grain was not only still edible but also incredibly rich in flavor. In fact, this legend is reflected in the grain's name, as "freekeh" in Arabic means "to rub." Today, freekeh is prepared through a combination of sun-drying and roasting in open-air gas ovens, lending freekeh its naturally nutty, slightly smoky flavor. Typically, young green wheat is used to make freekeh, but in Egypt it is sometimes made from barley. Freekeh has recently increased in popularity due to its versatile nature and robust nutritional profile. Freekeh is low in carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, and contains plenty of protein and fiber. It is also a relatively eco-friendly crop to produce – because it is harvested early, its short growing period means less time that it must be protected from pests or poor environmental conditions, which lessens pesticide use or chemical intervention.
- Use instead of rice, pasta or farro
- Toss into soups, stews, pilafs and salads for a nutritional punch
- Enjoy for breakfast instead of oatmeal
Basic Prep: Bring 1 cup Freekeh and 2 1/2 cups water to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low until grains are tender, about 40 minutes. Drain remaining water.