FREEKEH SALAD WITH CRANBERRY DRESSING
Serves 4-6 as a side
2 small shallots, finely chopped
200g (1 cup) cracked freekeh, rinsed and drained a couple of times
500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
175g (1 cup) coarse bulgur
Handful of mint, finely chopped
Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
Handful of roasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 Preserved lemon skins, finely chopped (or zest of 1 lemon)
250g Feta, crumbled
80g dried cranberries
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoon olive oil
To make the cranberry dressing, place the cranberries in a small saucepan with 250ml (1 cup) of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced slightly. Leave to cool, then transfer to a bowl and stir through the vinegar and oil.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and freekeh and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the freekeh is slightly toasted and the shallot is translucent.
Pour in the veggie stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, put the lid on and leave for 15 minutes, stirring only once. (when you first cook this, you will want to keep checking it as it behaves slightly differently from rice, but you will get used to it and before long you and freekeh will be firm friends). Once the freekeh is tender and all the stock has been absorbed, remove it from the heat, leave the lid on and set aside for another 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the bulgur and 500ml (2 cups) of water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat and cook for about 12 minutes, until tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and fluff the grains up with a fork.
Pop the freekeh in a large bowl and set it aside to cool. Add the cooked bulgur, chopped herbs, almonds and lemon and toss well to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl, pour over the cranberry dressing and gently toss through. Finish with the crumbled feta, toss again and serve.