Freekeh is a whole grain wheat product popular in parts of the Middle East and Northern Africa. It is produced by harvesting green wheat, sun-drying, then roasting the grains. Freekeh has a unique taste all its own, with superior nutritional value. Look for it in Middle Eastern markets and some high-end groceries, or substitute almost any other cooked whole grain—farro, brown rice, wheat berries or barley, for instance. —Ann S
2 1/2 cups
extra virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
Italian green olives (such as Cerignola), pitted and roughly chopped
Italian parsley or cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Pick through the freekeh to remove any grit or other debris. Rinse several times under cold water; drain. Place in a saucepan with water and one teaspoon salt and one teaspoon oil. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly and cook for about 45 minutes, until water is absorbed and grains are tender. Turn off heat and let the pan sit for 5 minutes. Then uncover and cool.
While freekeh is cooking preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cauliflower with just enough oil to coat and spread in a single layer across a baking sheet. Season with cumin, coriander and a large pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast for about 25 to 30 minutes until tender and brown in spots. Turn once during cooking.
Place cauliflower, olives, cooled grains and parsley (or cilantro) in a large bowl. Zest the clean and dry lemon with a fine grater or microplane zester. Juice the lemon. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or to taste), plus the lemon zest to the freekeh mixture. Toss to combine. Add more salt and pepper as needed to taste. This salad works well slightly warm or at room temperature.