This is a fresh and wholesome salad that is light but incredibly fulfilling. It consists of the super-grain, freekeh, which is an ancient toasted green wheat that has been enjoyed in the Middle Eastern region for ages. Rich in fiber and protein, it’s resurfacing in the health world. Although it’s traditionally eaten in soups and stews, I like cooking mine as one would cook rice or quinoa and tossing it with chunks of roasted aubergines and fresh vegetables. Nourishing, delicious, hearty, and entertaining, this dish is always a favorite.
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INGREDIENTS/SERVES 2 GREEDY PEOPLE
2 large aubergines (eggplants), cut into chunks
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups (300 gr.) freekeh, thoroughly rinsed
3 cups (700 ml.) vegetable broth/stock (substitute with water)
15 sweet tomatoes, cut into halves
2 avocados, cut into chunks
handful of fresh coriander (cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon sumac spice
1. Preheat oven to 220 C/ 425 F and toss the cut aubergines in a large roasting pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper until well combined. Roast for about 20 minutes or until the sides of the chunks are golden.
2. While the aubergines are in the oven, sauté the onion and the garlic in a medium pot over medium-high heat with 1 teaspoon of olive oil for 5-7 minutes or until soft and translucent. Stir in the vegetable stock, freekeh, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring to a simmer. After the liquid begins to bubble, cover, bring the heat down to low and leave to cook for about 15 minutes while stirring occasionally. Taste to make sure it has cooked to your liking and add additional salt to your taste. I always add more.
3. Spoon the freekeh into a large serving bowl and toss in the chunks of roasted aubergine until well combined. Gently toss in the tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro. Drizzle lemon juice over the top and spice with sumac and pepper.
4. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator and enjoy cold.
* Be sure to thoroughly rinse the freekeh grains to remove any stones or specks.