VeganMoFo Day 30
The recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook called “Plenty”. I own a signed copy of it along with the other Ottolenghi cookbooks; Jerusalem with Sami Tamimi and The Ottolenghi Cookbook. When my husband was in London for work, he got them for me. He ordered them online and they were delivered to his office the next day. That’s how fast things are in other countries.
I’m sure you’re wondering what freekeh is. Ottolenghi explains it very well. So I quote:
“We normally enjoy grains once they have matured and dried, but there is a widespread culinary tradition of consuming green, semi-mature grains, which taste grassier and more nutritious than the dried version. Throughout the Middle East it is common to process young and green durum wheat into freekeh. This is done by literally burning the wheat head in order to scorch the chaff and thus to assist removing the grain. The result is lightly charred green grains with a wonderful smoky aroma, which are often used like rice or bulghar wheat. Freekeh isn’t easy to find but you should come across it in Arab grocery shops. Or you can use bulghar as a substitute, in which case reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes and leave to stand as with the freekeh.”
But I did find a pack of freekeh at a specialty shop in Sydney! And the recipe was there. It sort of happened…
1 medium onions, thinly sliced
25 gr vegan margarine
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
1 cup freekeh
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
2 cups vegetable stock
Handful parsley, finely chopped
Handful coriander, finely chopped
Handful mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted and roughly broken
Salt and black pepper
• Place the onions, salt, vegan margarine and oil in a large, shallow heavy-based pot and sauté on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until the onion is soft and brown.
• Meanwhile, soak the freekeh in cold water for 5 minutes, drain in a sieve and rinse well under cold running water. Drain well.
• Add the freekeh and spices to the onions, followed by the stock and pepper. Stir well. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat to a bare minimum and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it covered for 5 minutes. Finally remove the lid and leave the pilaf to cool down a little, about another 5 minutes.
• Stir the herbs into the warm (not hot) pilaf. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon onto serving dishes and sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts and finish with a trickle of olive oil.