Freekeh with Grilled Veg­eta­bles (Frikeh Bel Kho­dra)

11/2 hrs 11/2 hrs AC­TIVE: TO­TAL:

EatingWell - - FRESH -

Soak­ing the freekeh and cook­ing it with a load of caramelized onions re­sults in an al­most risot­to­like tex­ture. Grill up your fa­vorite veg­eta­bles in place of the zuc­chini, car­rots and scal­lions, if you like—or skip the veg­eta­bles al­to­gether and serve it as a sim­ple whole-grain side. It’s re­ally that good on its own.

3 ta­ble­spoons corn oil

2 pounds onions, finely chopped

11/4 cups cracked freekeh (see page 110)

3 cups water, plus more for soak­ing 11/8 tea­spoons salt, di­vided

2 medium zuc­chini, sliced di­ag­o­nally

(1/2 inch thick)

2 large car­rots, sliced di­ag­o­nally

(1/2 inch thick)

8 scal­lions, trimmed

2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

1/2 tea­spoon ground pep­per

1. Heat corn oil in a large skil­let over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, and re­duc­ing the heat if nec­es­sary, un­til very golden brown and al­most like a paste, 40 to 45 min­utes.

2. Mean­while, place freekeh in a large bowl and cover with water by 2 inches. Soak, skim­ming any that floats to the top, for 40 min­utes. Drain well.

3. Add the drained freekeh to the caramelized onions and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the mix­ture is just start­ing to stick to the pan, 2 to 3 min­utes. Add 3 cups water and 1 tea­spoon salt. Bring to a sim­mer, scrap­ing up any browned bits. Cook un­til the water has been ab­sorbed, 20 to 25 min­utes. Re­move from heat, cover and let stand for 5 min­utes.

4. Mean­while, pre­heat grill to medium-high. 5. Toss zuc­chini, car­rots and scal­lions with olive oil, pep­per and the re­main­ing 1/8 tea­spoon salt. Grill the veg­eta­bles, turn­ing once, un­til ten­der, about 3 min­utes for the scal­lions, 6 to 8 min­utes for the zuc­chini and 15 min­utes for the car­rots.

6. Trans­fer the freekeh to a serving dish. Serve topped with the veg­eta­bles.

SERVES 8: 1 cup each

CAL 249 / FAT 10G (SAT 1G) / CHOL 0MG / CARBS 35G / TO­TAL SUG­ARS 8G (ADDED 0G) / PRO­TEIN 7G / FIBER 8G / SODIUM 354MG / POTAS­SIUM 435MG.

Abu Ma­lik (right) stands in a field of wheat in the south­ern town of Hal­loussieh. The land has been in his fam­ily for hun­dreds of years. Ma­lik har­vests the wheat while it’s still green, then smokes it over a fire to make freekeh. His cousin Zeinab Kash­mar (left) cooks it with fried onions and tops it with chicken and pine nuts to make her sig­na­ture dish,friket djej, at Tawlet Beirut.

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