Fall Fun with Freekeh

Good Cuban Italian boys know nothing about Freekeh!! Right?


Summer is over and the chill of Fall is in the air.Well, The Bald Vivant made Freekeh anyway . What a treat! Here’s  what I did  for  my Freekeh-Mushroom Risotto!“Freekeh (pronounced free-ka) is a super food and ingredient. It is ‘roasted green grains.’ Freekeh is a process and not the name of a grain variety.

Freekeh is 100% natural! The grains are harvested while still soft, young and green, then parched, roasted and dried.  The process captures and more importantly retains the grains at the state of peak taste and nutrition. Green grains are very different in properties to mature grains. The entire process is natural and only uses fire and air.” (from Freekehlicious.com)

Tonight I cooked up a healthy , delicious, nutty side dish of Freekeh and Mushrooms. The result was a hearty alternative to white  rice and much more adventurous than brown or wild rice. So simple to prepare, and unlike rice, it lasts in your fridge for days and days, so you can munch on leftovers all week. Freekeh is widely used in Mediterranean countries and in North African cooking. It’s not as well knon here in the States, and therefore a bit tricky to find. We found it at a Yonkers Middle Eastern shop, but you might have some luck at Whole Foods . Its worth searching for.

You can substitute any kind of veggies if you like (chopped asparagus or spinach sounds good to me), or Freekeh stands alone fine without any at all. I also used toasted pine nuts and chicken stock, you dont have to.


2 cups freekeh, soaked and rinsed and drained

4 cups chicken  stock , piping hot

1 medium onion, diced

1 sprig of thyme

1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1-2 cups wild mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)

I used about 2 cups of Freekeh. The grain is beautiful and good for you.

Add butter or oil to pan, then brown the onions til translucent.Add parsley and thyme, salt and pepper.

Add the toasted pine nuts, Toss in the Freekeh, and stir well to blend with the onion and herbs.You want to slowly toast the grains before adding the stock to bring out the nutty flavors.

Keep stirring at medium heat for a minute or two.

Add hot stock , stir well, turn heat to low,and simmer, covered, for 20-30 mins or til tender.

I also added mushrooms and the fresh herbs to the mix. Then lightly mixed it all in, salt and pepper to taste.....

I served the nutty freekeh with a lovely rack of lamb and a side dish of lemony leeks , a few spicy black olives,and a tomato mint salad. YUM!


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