Freekeh is so freakin’ good. If you are not familiar with Freekeh, it is a cereal grain made by roasting and cracking immature and soft green wheat. The wheat is parched, roasted, dried and rubbed. It’s an ancient Arabian/North African food that has become trendy to eat in some places. It has an almost smoky, nutty taste and beautiful chewy texture.
Freekeh is easy to cook. Melt a tablespoon of olive oil with a little butter in a pan, toast 1 cup freekeh and add 350ml water. Bring to a boil, cover, turn the heat to very low and let the freekeh steam about 20 to 25 minutes until plumped and tender.
How to Use Freekeh
This grain is all about texture and flavour. Use as you would other grains and rice in such things as pilafs, soups, stuffings and salads. Add it to your next congee. It is also a great Winter alternative for breakfast, either as a hot cereal or as a parfait that’s layered with yoghurt and fruit. It can also be used as an alternative to rice, quinoa, farro, barley and other hearty grains.
Freekeh is also wonderful in stuffings to fill vine leafs, roasted capsicum or rolled slices of grilled eggplant. Or use some in scrumptious veggie burgers. It is wonderful as a base for summer salads; add your pick of cherry tomatoes, olives, grilled vegetables, feta, shallots, and anything else at hand, and dress with a light vinaigrette. It loves a citrusy or mustardy dressing.
Freekeh actually has more goodness than quinoa yet has not achieved the same levels of popularity. It has lots of health benefits including loads of protein and fibre.
Middle Eastern and Afghani groceries are easy places to find Freekeh if your supermarket does not stock it. Freekeh is sold as whole or whole grain and as cracked. Cracked freekeh has been broken into smaller pieces for ease of cooking and has a slightly different texture. There is no standard size for cracked freekeh, so depending on the brand, it can be almost as large as whole freekeh or so small they resemble quinoa.
Recipes for Freekeh
Grain and Grape Salad (Make with Freekeh)