Freekah…Freakin’ Awesome

A newly “discovered” grain, freekeh, has been a staple in Mediterranean cuisines for centuries. If you’re gluten-free, this one’s not for you, as it is created from green durum wheat. The grains are harvested while still green and roasted over an open fire, to burn off the straw and chaff. What remains is a tasty wheat berry with a slightly smoky flavor. Available as a cracked grain from Bob’s Red Mill, it can also be found as a whole grain in most Middle Eastern markets.

High in protein and fiber, as well as iron, calcium and zinc, freekeh has been called the new “supergrain”. It cooks in about 20 minutes and can be eaten in place of rice, as a cereal, or added to a salad. I love the combination of cooked grains or legumes with raw veggies, olive oil, white balsamic and spices. Try a drizzle of pomegranate molasses for a tangy treat.

Persian Wedding Rice

weddingriceYou don’t have to be getting married to enjoy this festive treat. The long grain rice is cooked al dente, and then combined with caramelized onion and carrot, orange zest, and exotic spices. The rice is added to a pan with melted butter and finished over low heat. The result is a fluffy, fragrant rice with the prized tahdig, a crusty disk on the bottom of the pan.