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Getting a little bit freekeh

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.

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  1. I feel like I have heard of freekeh (ha! it is a great name!), but have definitely not tried it. You might have just turned me towards a new grain!

  2. I've never had Freekeh, but bad puns are my guilty pleasure and I can always use a new grain.

  3. Ha ha ha! Freekeh, why have I never heard of this? I would eat it for its name alone, it's just a bonus that it's tasty!

  4. Well, I'd be up for trying a freekeh dish if only it weren't wheat. :( Looks like your freekeh experiment went really well.

  5. I've never tried freekah before but have been interested in giving it a shot. This dish is making me lean towards giving it a shot even though my pantry is already overflowing with grains. I wonder if my fellows would enjoy it more than quinoa which that aren't very enthused about.

  6. The freekeh puns are irresistible, aren't they? I received a bag in a Vegan Cuts snack box, and I couldn't help myself from making every pun possible. My favorite way to eat it was tossed with pesto, and then topped with roasted chickpeas, olives, and cherry tomatoes. I love its chewy texture so much more than other grains of its size!

  7. What a beautiful dish filled with healthy greens and sprouting broccoli! I love freekeh, I used them in a curry-based salad with bit of cranberries, toasted coconut, walnuts, pinenuts and butternut squash (or sweet potato, either way, I don't remember). They are great as leftovers!

  8. Fantastic freekeh! I love that toothsome, chewy grain, despite how rarely I think to cook it. The combination of vegetables and herbs you assembled to pair with it sounds unbeatable though. Good enough to push me into buying another bag of freekeh, even. This has got to happen in my kitchen, ASAP.

  9. I've never heard of it and now I'm so glad I have. A little jealous that you beat me to the puns, but good on you.


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