Freekeh, also known as roasted green wheat, frikkeh or farikah, is a nutritious wholegrain wheat which has been roasted when still green and young, giving it smoky notes. The ‘superfood’ also has a distinctive nuttiness, making it both delicious and healthy. Freekeh translates as ‘the rubbed one’ in Ancient Aramaic. The story goes that freekeh was first discovered thousands of years ago, when a wheat store was set alight, and the charred heads of wheat were rubbed to reveal green grains.
There are two types of freekeh, cracked and whole freekeh. This cracked freekeh is broken down into smaller pieces, which means it cooks more quickly and has a slightly softer texture than whole freekeh. Traditionally, cooked freekeh is used to stuff quail, partridge, pigeon or peppers. It also makes a great side dish – and if you cook too much freekeh, then it can also be used in a cold salad, mixed with fresh herbs like a tabbouleh.
In a saucepan, stir together 100g of cracked freekeh, 500ml water, and 1 tsp salt (or a stock cube). Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins. Drain and stir a little butter or olive oil through the cooked freekeh. Serve hot, or allow to cool for cold dishes.
Freekeh is a good complement to the Cookbook Set: Jerusalem, which includes Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook and some great recipes for freekeh.
Ingredients: Roasted wheat. Contains gluten. May contain traces of peanuts, soy beans, nuts, sesame & sulphur dioxide.
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