Thanks to the Suma Blogger's Network, I get to try out lots of weird and wonderful, new vegetarian products. This time, freekeh and pomegranate molasses were amongst my picks. For those of you who don't know, freekeh, pronounced free-ka (young, green wheat which is cracked and roasted), is considered both an ancient grain and a super-grain. It has a high fibre and protein content and is very versatile as it can be served hot or cold in place of other grains such as rice or quinoa.
Pomegranate molasses was a revelation to me, as it was far more tangy and flavoursome than I anticipated (I thought it would be sweet!), and gives a great sweet and sour flavour to a dressing.
Serves 4 as a lunch or side salad; 2 as a main meal
For the salad
- 1 cup freekeh from Suma
- 2 cups veg stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ teaspoon lightly toasted cumin seeds, ground, more to taste
- 2 bell peppers,deseeded and cut into chunks
- 2 cups of butternut squash or sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup of button mushrooms, halved
- 4 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- a small bunch of chopped, fresh mint
- ½ cup crumbled feta (optional)
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses from Suma
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6/400F
Put the peppers and squash into a roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil.
Roast for 20-30 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
Add the mushrooms, chickpeas, pine nuts, cumin seeds and crushed garlic and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for around 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the freekeh and stock into a large pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Simmer, with the lid on, for 20-25 minutes, or until the grain is soft and just starting to break up.
Drain well and allow to cool for around 15 minutes.
Mix the dressing ingredients together and stir into the warm freekeh.
When the freekeh and vegetables are still just warm (but not hot!), mix together to combine.
Add the mint and feta, if using.
Serve warm or cold.
Keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge; not suitable for freezing.
Vegan option: Omit the feta or swap for vegan feta or halved olives.
As a member of the Suma Blogger's Network, I will receive a selection of complimentary products from Suma every two months, to use in recipe development, and will blog an original recipe for the Network.