This Freekeh Salad Recipe is full of flavour, this ancient grain has a very subtle smoky, nutty flavour to it, which pairs perfectly with the sweet cherry tomatoes, aromatic basil, the tangy olives and capers.
A great salad to take on your next picnic as it travels well, take it to a friends barbecue as it is wonderful with charred meats. Add some feta, or smoked cheese, grilled lamb backstrap or chicken breasts for a satisfying packed lunch.
- ½ cup cracked freekeh
- 500 grams cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup basil leaves
- ¼ cup kalamata olives (pitted)
- ¼ cup pine nuts (toasted)
- 2 tbsps baby capers
- 2 tbsps red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Place the freekeh in a small saucepan and cook until, al dente (approximately 15-20), place in a colander rinse under cold water. Shake well and press down with the back of a spoon to squeeze out the excess water.
- Wash the cherry tomatoes, pat dry, cut in half then transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Wash the basil leaves, shake to remove excess water then cut into chiffonade, transfer to your bowl.
- Dice the kalamata olives, rinse the baby capers and add to your bowl.
- Add the freekeh to your salad bowl, season with salt and pepper, add the oil and vinegar. Mix it all together until the freekeh is coated with the oil and vinegar and the tomatoes are evenly distributed.
- Taste your salad, adjust seasonings according to your taste. Arrange in a salad bowl and serve.
This video is courtesy of Leslie Beck from The Globe and Mail.
Got your freekeh on?
Freekeh also called Farik is made from young durum wheat grain. The wheat is harvested when young and still green. Then it is roasted over an open fire which burns off the straw and chaff that and are rubbed off. Because the grain on the inside is still young and moist it doesn’t burn which leaves you with a firm, slightly chewy grain that has a distinctly earthy, nutty and slightly smokey flavour.
How healthy is freekeh?
One-half cup of cooked freekeh has about 130 calories, 1 gram of total fat and 8 grams of protein. It’s free of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is an excellent source of manganese, a good source of fibre (with 4 grams per ¼ cup dry), plus phosphorus and magnesium.
Other benefits of this ancient grain…..
“Low carb” food. Resistant starch plus high in fibre (up to 16.5% fibre). Available carbs are about 45 units / 100.
Great for weight loss with short transition through the body.
Greatly improves bowel health. Helps with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, laxation and general bowel health.
A pronounced increase in concentration and excretion of the short-chain fatty acid butyrate which is associated with diminishing the risk for developing degenerative bowel diseases including colorectal cancer and diverticulosis..
Low Glycaemic Index with excellent insulin response (good for diabetics). Wholegrain freekeh GI = 43.
High in nutritional content. Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals.
100% natural. Free from chemicals, GMO, colouring, additives or preservatives. Medvet analysis report showing Freekeh to be chemical-free below.
Low fat content.
High protein content 14% to 16% with 18%+ recorded. By comparison, white rice protein content is only 6.6%.
Rich in calcium, iron, and zinc.
Unlike mature grains, Freekeh is rich in Lutein and the Zeaxanthin (implicated in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration) great for eye health.
Choosing and prepping your cherry tomatoes…
Choose Cherry tomatoes that have firm, bright skin and that are free of any blemishes. They should also have a wonderful tomatoey aroma. They can be kept in the fridge but are at their best at room temperature. Keep them in a bowl on your bench-top for a handy snack.
Cherry tomatoes are easy to prepare, just rinse them in a strainer under cold running water, shake to remove excess water and pat dry. For this recipe just cut them in half.