Alright, alright, I admit that I pretty much bought freekeh for the name - so I could make lame puns about how on the run up to the weekend, I always want to try a new grain, so I inaugurated Freekeh Friday. You get the idea.
Only turns out that freekeh is no joke – it's actually rather tasty.
It's the new hip grain on the block – it hails from the Middle East and is made of roasted unripe green wheat. It looks a bit like the sort of thing that you'd see at the bottom of a budgie's cage, but don't let that put you off – it's got a really nice earthy taste and a bouncy texture.
Unlike the usual grain suspects, freekeh has a distinct flavour of its own – it's not just there to bulk up dishes with a bit of carbs. And like its ancient cousin quinoa, freekeh is reasonably high in protein.
Convinced yet? I was certainly curious enough to give it a try, especially given I had a couple of recipes knocking around that seemed to be calling out for freekeh: one for a spinach freekeh pilaf on a page I'd torn out from I don't know where, and one for quinoa with summer beans from The Independent. Where I thought freekeh might make a nice substitution.
Here's what I made – a sort of cross between the two:
It was pretty simple to concoct: boil the freekeh in stock, then when it's cooked, add a load of olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of garlic, then some defrosted frozen spinach, shucked broad beans, cooked purple sprouting broccoli and herbs (I think it was chives, basil and dill in this instance).
That was it! From start to plate took under half an hour, and it survived well enough to make a solid lunch the next day too.
I've got two-thirds of a bag left, and I'm looking forward to finding some new uses for this bad boy.
It's so good, it's almost freekeh.