Author Notes: Inspired by a salad at Rumi Restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, my freekeh salad is a fresh autumn side dish or vegetarian entrée. Freekeh is not readily available in my area, but I did find it online. I believe that farro or coarse bulgur would make fine substitutions. The pomegranate molasses is a must, so don’t leave it out! It can be found in international groceries or on the internet. This serves 8-10 in small verrines, 6 as a side dish, and 3-4 as a generous main course. Any leftovers will hold up in the fridge for several days and can be refreshed with a little olive oil and a good stir. www.creativesanctuary.net —Allison Connolly
cup red grapes, halved
cup feta, crumbled
cup sliced almonds, toasted
handful Italian parsley leaves, chopped
cup extra virgin olive oil
tablespoons red wine vinegar
tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- Heat a heavy, medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat and add freekeh. Toast in the dry pan, stirring, until the grain smells toasty, about 2 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of water and a three-finger pinch of salt to the saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and uncover. Tie a clean dishtowel over the lid and place it on the saucepan. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, uncover and allow the freekeh to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- As grains cool, make your dressing. In a medium-sized bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, pomegranate molasses, and a pinch of salt. Whisk to blend.
- Once grains have cooled, add to a large bowl and use a fork to mix with parsley, almonds, feta, grapes, and a generous pinch of salt. Pour dressing, incorporating it as you pour. Once salad is evenly dressed, taste for seasoning.