During Ramadan eating healthy is very important at the time of fasting, as we break the fast we must provide the body with vital nutrients lost during the day. My Freekeh salad is a delicious fusion dish, a beautiful amalgamation of middle eastern and Mediterranean ingredients.
Freekeh or farik is green durum wheat that is roasted and rubbed to create its flavour. Freekeh is rich is protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins- all important for bone and muscle health, as well as overall health. Freekeh also contains lutein and zeaxanthin which aids healthy aging. The other ingredients in this salad- pomegranate, bell peppers, pine nuts, cucumber are full of iron, calcium, vitamins and probiotics plus the addition of cheese makes this salad a complete meal. We are still amidst a raging pandemic, and it's vital that we boost our immunity with such nourishing dishes.
- 1 cup green Freekeh
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 cup chopped rocket leaves/ arugula/ local Jarjeer leaves - 1 cup chopped bell peppers
- 1 cup diced cucumber - 1 cup pomegranate arils - 1/4 cup spring onions - 1/4 cup finely chopped mint - 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley - 1/4 cup chopped dry figs - 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup feta cheese (optional / or any firm vegan cheese cut into cubes) Dressing - 1/4 cup olive oil - 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (can substitute with pomegranate molasses) - juice of 1/2 a lemon - salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Step One- is cooking the Freekeh. Wash and soak the freekeh in water and let it soak for an hour. After that rinse and drain the grains. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add the freekeh to this. Stir for a few minutes until the grains look well toasted, now add 2 cups of water, 1 tsp Himalayan salt and let it come to a boil. Reduce the flame and let it cook on a simmer until the water evaporates. Turn the flame off, the freekeh is cooked and this needs to cool down. You can add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the cooked freekeh to ensure the grains don’t stick.
Step Two- In a large bowl, Add the cooled freekeh, plus the chopped rocket leaves, bell peppers, cucumbers, pomegranate, spring onion, mint, parsley and dry figs. Start mixing and tossing gently. Once it’s well mixed, you can add the dressing.
Step Three- To make the dressing, just mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl really well. Pour this over the prepared salad.
Step Four- is the plating, as a final garnish, sprinkle the toasted pine nuts, cheese cubes and more parsley/ mint leaves and your healthy Green Freekeh salad is read to be served.
Watch the full Khaleej Times video here