Freekeh salad with chicken is packed full of goodness. Whole grain, hearty, and tasty too.
It’s not often that we get to call our dinner ‘freaky.’ Have you ever heard of ‘freekeh’ grains? Freekeh grains are wheat berries harvested early. These young, green wheat berries go through a roasting process after harvest. The result is a delicious whole grain that takes no time to cook!
Let's talk about that roasting process, because it's pretty darn cool. The harvested berries end up in a pile that also includes straw and chaff from the harvested wheat stalk. It's set out in the sun to dry for a while - several days or a week.
And then the cool stuff happens. They set the whole thing carefully on fire. Because the berries have such a high water content, they don't burn - only the other bits they were harvested with do. Instead, they roast. Leaving us with deliciously nutty roasted young wheat berries, and nothing else.
If you like wheat berry salads, you’ll love this freekeh salad. Although, freekeh grains are a bit smaller than typical wheat berries, I think they’re easier to eat because they are not as chewy as wheat berries. It’s a cross between cous cous and wheat berries. And it’s delicious!
To cook freekeh, rinse the grains. Add one-half cup to 1 1/2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes—much as you would do for rice. After 20 minutes, remove the freekeh from the heat, fluff with a fork, and serve.
I used the same dressing from my creamy Greek pasta salad recipe, added a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes, finely chopped dinosaur kale leaves, and tossed the whole thing together. It’s a great side dish, or it makes a nice lunch. I prefer this freekeh salad at room temperature or even slightly chilled.
The protein choice in the salad is up to you: grilled, sliced chicken tenders, baked tofu, or sliced pork loin. It would even be excellent with my baked rosemary chicken on top.
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