Freekeh and leek pilaf with toasted almonds

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Palestinian staple freekeh provides a tasty alternative to rice in this easy recipe. Made from durum wheat harvested while still green and roasted, it is then rubbed (fareek) to remove the husk and reveal an aromatic grain packed with protein and fibre.

This recipe is from Zaytoun, and I buy their freekeh from Holmfirth Fair Trader. Not only does it taste great, but you will also be helping to provide a sustainable income for Palestinian farmers. Find your local or on-line stockist.

Traditionally freekeh is slowly simmered in stock for a nourishing soup but can also can be served with curry or stews as an alternative to rice or cous cous, or used in dishes such as salad, risotto, or this lovely pilaf.

Ingredients

  • 250g Zaytoun freekeh
  • 500g leeks, washed and very finely sliced
  • 4 tbsp Zaytoun olive oil
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tbsp Zaytoun almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

1. Pour 3tbsp of olive oil into a large, heavy based pot, add the leeks and soften for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Rinse the freekeh and add to the leeks along with the stock and simmer.

3. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring from time to time for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed then take off the heat and let it stand.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan until hot, add the almonds and toast until slightly coloured, lower the heat and add the garlic to soften for a few minutes.

5. Toss the freekeh and leek mixture with the mint, lemon zest and juice and season to taste.

6. Top with the toasted almond / garlic mix and serve.

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