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Side Dishes

Freekah Pilaf texted 3

From Kosher by Design Brings it Home

by Susie Fishbein, Artscroll/Shaar Press 

Move over, quinoa — there’s a new ancient grain in town and it’s called freekeh! Legend has it that around 2,000 years ago in the Middle East, a field of young green wheat was set on fire during an attack. When local villagers returned to the scene, they discovered that their crop was actually not ruined. When they rubbed away the charred outer coating, the inner grain was still edible, with a lightly smoked flavor — and freekeh was born. I love that it is a firm, slightly chewy grain, with a distinct flavor that’s earthy and nutty. It is loaded with fiber and protein to boot. When I smell it raw, it smells grassy like bird seed; but once it’s cooked, it is divine and is a blank canvas for any add-in ingredients for salads, tabbouleh, or grain recipes.


4 Tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 medium onion, peeled, cut into 1⁄4-inch dice 
1 clove fresh garlic, minced

14 ounces (21⁄2 cups) freekeh

5 cups water

1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1⁄2 cup pine nuts
1 cup sliced olives
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup curly parsley, chopped

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

zest and juice of 1⁄2 navel orange


Preheat the oven to 375°
Heat 3 tablespoons canola oil in a medium, ovenproof pot that has a lid. 
Add the onion; cook over medium heat until shiny and translucent 5-6 minutes. Do not allow it to brown.
Add the garlic; cook for 1 minute.
Add the freekeh and toast, mixing it well with the onion for 4-5 minutes. It will be fragrant. Add water and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer
to the oven for 20 minutes.
Place the pine nuts and remaining tablespoon canola oil into a small pot. Toast over medium heat, shaking the nuts the whole time until golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes. They may be darker in some spots but don't allow them to burn. 
When the freekeh is done, remove the lid; allow to cool for a few minutes. Stir in the olives, raisins, parsley, pine nuts, olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to serving dish.
Yields 8-10 servings


 Recipe: Kosher, side dish, parve

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