Last week when I was off sick, I felt it was important to make food that was tempting and delicious. Plus, it was just me and Charlie the cat around, so I could try things out on myself before trying them out on Karl.
I had a bag of freekeh in the cupboard I had been meaning to use for a while, and some of Zany Zeus’ amazing halloumi, and thought that those two things would make a good Friday night dinner before another Gilmore Girls and Death in Paradise session with mugs of camomile tea (my life right now…).
If you’ve never cooked or eaten freekeh before, it’s a lot like bulgar wheat. Actually, it is a young, green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It is basically wheat, so anyone with a genuine wheat allergy should avoid it. It is so easy to cook, but I would suggest following the directions on the packet you buy as there are different varieties. Here in New Zealand, the Ceres brand is easily available at big supermarkets and places like Common Sense Organics if in Wellington.
I adapted this recipe to my own taste and what was in my fridge. For one person over two days (or two people sitting down at once), I found that half a cup was enough freekeh, cooked with 1 1/4 cup water. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook, and all the water should be absorbed. For the first time ever that I can remember, I had no lemons in the house – but averted disaster by using a mandarin olive oil from Aquiferra. I also missed out the raw garlic and chilli as I knew that neither would work for me if I wanted a dreamless sleep.
Anyway, here’s my idea for a basic freekeh salad with halloumi.
Once cooked, put the freekeh into a bowl. Stir in a good handful of mint (to taste), lots of chopped up cherry tomatoes of different colours ideally, 1 teaspoon of capers, some finely chopped spring onion and a dollop of good olive oil and lemon juice or a citrus flavoured olive oil if you have that to hand because you have no lemons. Fry the halloumi until golden. Pour some freekah salad on top of salad leaves and add the halloumi. Eat and enjoy.
(BTW every time I typed freekeh the spell check changed it to freaked….).
Title of post from Yotam Ottolenghi: A well made salad should have a certain uniformity; it should make perfect sense for those ingredients to share a bowl.
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