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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
- 1 cup freekeh
- 3/4 cup red grapes, halved
- 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 handful Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1.5 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.