Recipes, Soups, Salads & Sides

Mediterranean Freekeh Salad with Roasted Vegetables & Turmeric Chickpeas

If you aren’t familiar with what freekeh, it’s a grain made from green durum wheat that is roasted and rubbed to give it its nutty flavor. Not only is it incredibly delicious and good for you, it’s great to say (pronounced free-kuh). So say hello to this Mediterranean Super Freekeh Salad with Roasted Vegetables recipe loaded with tons of flavor and really simple to make. 

Mediterranean food is considered by many to be one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. It consists of simple ingredients that are always in season with light seasonings and flavor enhancers. By flavor enhancers I mean rubs, marinades or sauces to mask the natural flavors of the food. I for one love the idea of everyday ingredients coming together in a delicious dish such as this one.  

This salad is served chilled so it’s best to start by cooking the things that take the longest time to cook like the roasted garlic. Fox Run makes this super cool ceramic/clay dish with a lid that helps roast and hold the garlic. Pour some olive oil and season with salt and pepper the bottom part of the dish. Next, slice off the top of the garlic and place it slice down onto the olive oil. To finish it just pop the lid on and roast it up in the oven on 400° for 30 minutes. The best part about this, your kitchen will smell like roasted garlic. AMAZING!

Freekeh Salad 1

Let’s move onto the veggies. You definitely do not have to use all of the vegetables I used. In fact, you can use some, all or others that you like. If you like roasted bell peppers then great, use them. My suggestion to you would be to check out what’s in season and what’s on sale at the grocery store so that this salad is as fresh, seasonal and as inexpensive as possible. I would however suggest using flavors that represent Mediterranean cuisine such as fennel, garlic, onions, eggplant, zucchini, etc.  

Freekeh Salad 2

Once all of the vegetables have been prepped up, squeeze on some fresh lemon juice, drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Be sure to rub those flavors into the vegetables so that every centimeter is coated. Now, you can grill or roast in the oven on high temperatures. I grilled them up at 500° and it took about 20 minutes. I cooked the carrots first since those take the longest to cook and finished with what took the quickest, the squash and zucchini. Once they are all roasted up place them back on a sheet tray and chill them in the refrigerator until cool.

Freekeh Salad 3
Freekeh Salad 5

A few other things I put on this salad, simply because I had them on hand, were roasted chickpeas in turmeric, cumin and paprika, and roasted cherry tomatoes.

These are two simple simple things you can do to really kick the flavor up a few ticks in this salad. You’ll be surprised at just how tasty those chickpeas are!

Freekeh Salad 4

Last but not least is cooking the freekeh and thanks to my trust rice cooker I can do it with ease. That’s right you can cook freekeh in a rice cooker, and many other grains, by cooking it on the brown rice setting. Who knew? Once the freekeh is done cooking spread it out on a sheet tray and place it in the refrigerator until cool.

Freekeh Salad 6

When it comes time to plating it up simply spread out everything all over a gorgeous large platter and top off with feta cheese, and okay yes, I put burrata on there hah, and finish with some red wine vinegar, olive oil, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a little bit of fresh oregano, salt and pepper. 

Freekeh Salad 7
Freekeh Salad 8
Freekeh Salad 11

Done!

Mediterranean Freekeh Salad with Roasted Vegetables

theinspiredhome.com
SERVINGS

6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the vegetables:

  • 4 heads of whole garlic, end trimmed
  • 1 pint of assorted cherry tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 teaspoon each turmeric, cumin and paprika
  • 6 rainbow colored carrots peeled and sliced in half long ways
  • 1 peeled and sliced egg plant
  • 1 each zucchini and squash sliced
  • 1 peeled and thickly sliced red onion
  • 2 bulbs of fennel trimmed and quartered
  • 2 fresh prepared artichokes cut in half
  • 4 cups of packed baby spinach
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

For the Rice and Toppings:

  • 4 cups of cooked and chilled freekeh
  • ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 burrata cheese cut into quarters
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Fresh oregano for garnish
  • Olives for garnish
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Garlic: season the bottom of the garlic baker with salt and pepper and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Place the garlic cut side down and place on the lid and roast in the oven at 400° for 30 minutes.  Remove and keep warm.
  3. Tomatoes: Place the tomatoes on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and drizzle on 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until blistered.
  4. Chickpeas: Place the chickpeas on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and drizzle on 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with turmeric, cumin, paprika salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  5. Vegetables: Coat the carrots, eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, fennel and artichokes in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook on a very hot grill until the vegetables are al dente, or slightly crunchy.  Immediately chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  6. To Plate: Place the chilled cooked freekeh on the bottom of a large serving dish and layer on the spinach, roasted vegetables, blistered tomatoes, chickpeas, roasted garlic, cheeses, olives, fresh oregano, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

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