Meatless Monday: Freekeh with Brussels Sprouts, Apples, Cranberries, Cherries and Pecans
Get your freekeh, get your freekeh. Yes, it’s pronounced freak – uh, and I’m channeling Missy Elliot as I sing that over and over in my head.
Never heard of freekeh? It wouldn’t surprise me. Until I participated in Whole Grains Sampling Day last spring and was sent a bag, I’d never actually used it myself. I’d seen it on a few food blogs here and there, but none of the recipes I’d seen excited me enough to run out to the store and buy it.
So thank goodness for that free sample because now I’m a huge fan!
Higher in protein and fiber than quinoa, it’s my new favorite super grain. Nutty and earthy in flavor, freekeh is a bit chewy (in a good way) — almost meaty — so for me, it makes a great ingredient in Meatless Monday dishes.
This particular recipe was created for our recent Nashville Food Bloggers post-holiday potluck and was quite a hit. I had just enough left over that I was able to eat it again a couple of days later for lunch, and I’m happy to say that it holds up well and tastes great even after being in the fridge a few days.
Freekeh with Brussels Sprouts, Apples, Cranberries, Cherries and Pecans
Serves 8. Adapted from Food Wanderings.
1/2 cup wholegrain Freekeh
1 lb Brussels sprouts, outer leaves peeled, stemmed and halved
4 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 medium onion, diced
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
Juice of 1/2 medium lemon
2 Tbsp honey
1/8 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup toasted pecans
In a small saucepan, place 1/2 cup of freekeh and 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for time noted on freekeh package. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
Pre-heat the oven to 400. Toss 2 tablespoons of oil with the Brussels sprouts, spread on cookie sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes while turning once with a spatula at the 15 minute mark. Remove from oven and sprinkled with a little sea salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, soak the cranberries and cherries in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
On low/medium heat add 2 tablespoons oil into a large sauté pan. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Do not caramelize onions. Add the diced apple and lemon juice to the onions and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer until the apples are soft but not mushy. Add the honey, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground black pepper and continue sautéing for a couple of minutes longer.
Remove from heat and, in a large bowl, add the freekeh, brussels sprouts, apple mixture, dried cranberries, cherries, and parsley. Mix and adjust for salt and black pepper. Add toasted pecans. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The brand of freekeh that I have used is Freekehlicious. It is available at Harris Teeter stores nationwide. I’ve also seen freekeh at our local Whole Foods as well.