Freekeh Pilaf With Asparagus And Egg
This freekeh pilaf recipe is in essence the recipe on the back of the box of Mt. Zero cracked freekeh. Mt Zero sell a wonderful range of locally grown grains and pulses that are available at most supermarkets and grocery stores, so make sure you stock a few boxes in your pantry for easy meatless meals and lunchtime salads. The addition of a touch of ground cinnamon, chilli flakes and lemon zest gives this freekeh pilaf a certain umami character which, with the nutty freekeh, is really delicious. I have topped the freekeh pilaf with some lovely thick, peeled and blanched in-season asparagus and poached eggs, creating quite a substantial meal. You could omit the eggs if they are not to your taste and just add a dollop of labne, some fresh herbs… anything really.
- 250 g cracked freekeh, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium purple onion, finely diced
- olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- just less than 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- just less 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- zest of half a lemon
- 2 bay leaves
- 600 ml chicken stock or concentrated vegetable stock
Saute the onion in olive oil with a good pinch of salt until soft and translucent. Add the chopped garlic, spices, bay leaves and lemon and stir well. Add the freekeh and stir well to coat in the oil and spices. Pour over the stock, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. If there is still some liquid remaining after cooking remove the lid and dry off the pilaf over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and set aside while you prepare your asparagus, herbs or salad greens and poached eggs.
Variations: add small, quartered, lightly oven roasted Brussels sprouts; top with thick, drained yoghurt; top or mix through fresh soft leaf herbs or baby spinach leaves; add blanched chopped kale; top with toasted seeds.
Note that Mt Zero cracked freekeh takes less time to cooked than whole grain freekeh, so if you have bought whole grain freekeh cook it for about 40-45 minutes.