"Freekeh is a green wheat berry with a delicious nutty flavour. My local bakery sells a version of this salad and it always looks so delicious, piled high on a platter on the counter, that I was inspired to make my own version." Matthew Evans, For the Love of Meat
- 250 g freekeh
- 200 g broccolini, cut into bite-size pieces
- olive oil, for cooking
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 200 g cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 lemon
- 50 g baby spinach leaves
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 60 g (½ cup) toasted hazelnuts, chopped
- grilled flatbread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the freekeh in a medium-sized saucepan with 625 ml (2 ½ cups) water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 40 minutes or until the grains are tender.
Meanwhile, place the broccolini in a large bowl with a drizzle of olive, then season with salt and pepper and toss to coat well. Heat a large cast iron skillet or heavy based frying pan over medium–high heat and cook the broccolini, turning occasionally for 5 minutes or until soft and the edges are dark and crisp. Remove from the heat and place the broccoli in a large mixing bowl.
Repeat the same process with the cauliflower which will take about 10 minutes to cook. Add the cooked cauliflower to the broccoli. Return the pan to medium heat, add a drizzle of oil, then cook the onion until golden brown. In the last minute of cooking, stir in the garlic, then add the onion and garlic to the broccolini and cauliflower.
Cut the lemon in half. Set one half aside and cut the other half into thin slices, then cut each slice into four. Return the pan to medium high heat, then cook the lemon slices on each side until golden brown and add to the vegetables.
When the freekeh is cooked, drain off any remaining liquid, then add to the cooked vegetables, along with the spinach, spring onions and toasted sesame seeds. Toss to combine well. Juice the second half of the lemon over the top, then drizzle some extra olive oil over the top and taste for seasoning – be generous with the pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and scatter with chopped hazelnuts. Serve with warm grilled flatbread.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Vanessa Austin. Food preparation by Alex Herbert.