Let’s Get our Freekeh on!
No, this is not a new Missy Elliott song, but it is all about that grain.
Freekeh is one of those grains that gets overshadowed by the “in” crowd… You know the cool kid of the grain world at the moment: quinoa. I love quinoa, I’m not bashing it AT ALL, but there is a whole world of grains that people have never heard of, including myself until about 15 years ago. Freekeh has a wonderfully nutty flavor and a chewy texture, similar to barley or other hearty grains.
I absolutely adore grain salads. During the heat of summertime, they are chock full of bright red tomatoes and crisp cucumbers, but as we move into fall they transition to root vegetables, dried fruits and nuts.
I often make these type of salads for clients because they are filling, healthy and they keep for a few days in the refrigerator, making them the perfect quick lunch. No need for a sad PB & J when you can have a container of this for lunch. It keeps you full and you have chewy, crunchy, sweet, and zingy all in one bite!
If you can’t find freekeh, you can substitute quinoa, barley, wheatberries, farro or even brown rice. This salad can be tweaked from here to infinity. You can add roasted cubes of butternut or sweet potato, beans or lentils, shredded chicken for extra protein, leftover veggies from last night’s dinner, blah blah blah… You get it. The important thing is that you make it! I might even throw a fried egg on top of it next time.
- For the Salad
- 1 c. freekeh
- 1/3 c. shredded carrots
- 1/4 c. sliced scallions
- 1/4 c. chopped pecans
- 1/4 c. dried cranberries
- For the dressing
- 1 c. fresh apple cider
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. grainy mustard
- 1-2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 small lemon or 1/2 large lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Cook freekeh according to package instructions, remove from heat and spread out on a sheet pan to let the steam evaporate, the grains will cool more quickly this way.
- Put the apple cider in a small saucepot and reduce by half. Cool cider, then combine with all remaining ingredients except oil. Drizzle in oil while whisking continuously, pour over salad & mix well. Serve!
The dressing can be adjusted to your taste - less sweet by adding a bit more lemon juice or more mustard, sweeter by a adding an extra tbsp. of maple syrup