Updated: Mar 22, 2022
I bought some "Freekeh"at the Carmel Market when I was in Tel Aviv beginning of March but I had honestly never cooked with it and no real clue what to do. Freekeh is a whole grain, similar to bulgur wheat, farro, spelt, and wheat berries but with distinct characteristics (not gluten-free). It comes from the Middle East and North Africa, where it has been consumed for centuries, especially in southern Lebanon and Egypt. The smoky flavor differentiates it from other wheat products although it has a similar nuttiness and chewy texture.
I cooked it in salted boiling water for around 20 minutes (get the cracked version if you can which cooks way faster and is easier to use) and even without any oil or extra seasoning I already loved the flavour and consistency. You might not find it in your local bio shop but a lot of arabic / Middle Eastern supermarkets carry it or order it online (alongside buckets of tahini :-) here -> Alepmarket
Freekeh Tabbouleh: cooked and cooled Freekeh, finely chopped parsley, mint, coriander and some baby spinach (optional but additional nutrients!), lemon juice and zest, cold pressed olive oil, salt – stir to combine!
Stir fried onion, zucchini and fennel in a bit of olive oil, seasoned with salt and lemon juice
crumbled feta (sheep or vegan version)
Za‘atar oil: combine 1 tsp of za’atar spice with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, mix and drizzle on top
This meal takes no longer than 15 minutes to prepare if you already have the freekeh
pre-cooked which I definitely recommend. Always cook double if not triple your grains so you can throw some healthy nutrient dense meals together after a long day or for a quick lunch.
Pro-Tip: Invest in some good quality olive oil which you don't cook with but use for dishes like the Tabbouleh, Za'atar oil etc. It will add flavour and nutrients without a lot of effort.