Freekeh pilaf with pine nuts, cauliflower and tahini sauce

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I am not sure from where to start with this recipe. So much goodness for the body and soul 🙂 This could easily be your new favorite for the meatless Mondays.

Let`s start with what is freekeh?!

In short, freekeh is wheat.  It is actually young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It`s healthy whole grain food, much like bulgur.

 

If you don`t have it in the shops near you I recommend substituting it with farro or barley, or even couscous and quinoa (although with the last two I will miss the texture that freekeh has).

The whole meal might seems complicated, but it is actually just cooked separated and then assembled to serve.

INGREDIENTS:

Roasted cauliflower

  • 1 large, tightly packed head of cauliflower, sliced into bite-sized florets
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Freekeh pilaf

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 ¼ cups  freekeh
  • 1 tbsp  harissa paste
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprpika
  • 3 cups  vegetable stock and/or water

Garlicky tahini sauce

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup yougurt
  • salt and pepper

Garnishes

  • Handful fresh parsley
  • Crumbled feta

PREPARATION:

  1. Toss the cauliflower in oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway, until the florets are deeply golden on the edges.
  2. To cook the pilaf: Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the raisins, pine nuts and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the freekeh and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, harissa,paprika and salt, and sauté for 1 more minute. Add vegetable broth, raise the heat and bring the mixture a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, until freekeh is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid, cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To make the dressing: In a bowl, stir together the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and red pepper flakes. Whisk  until you have a smooth, blended tahini sauce. Season generously with salt  and black pepper, to taste.
  4. To assemble the individual dishes: Start with a bed of cooked freekeh and top with roasted cauliflower. Drizzle tahini sauce generously over the dish and then top with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and crumbled feta , raisins and sesame seeds.
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