Recipe: Roasted carrot and orange freekeh salad

I’ve got a bit of a thing about freekeh. Aside from providing an excellent vehicle for terrible puns (one of my favourite things), it has a nutty, smoky flavour and is an exciting alternative to couscous or rice.

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This is a light salad, full of zesty flavours and textures, which is just as delicious served warm or cool. Great as a midweek supper, or as a packed lunch that will make your colleagues envious!

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If you’re taking this into work, keep the toasted seeds separate if you can (Sistema sell great little pots which are perfect for this purpose, as well as for dressings) and then sprinkle over immediately before serving so they retain their crunch.

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Whilst this recipe is vegan, I have absolutely no doubt that a handful of feta scattered over the top would take it to another level of deliciousness. Enjoy!

Roasted carrot and orange freekeh salad


Ingredients

  • 350g carrots (around five carrots)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp ground sumac
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Sea salt to season
  • 200g freekeh
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 20g pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
  • Handful pomegranate seeds (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C fan / gas mark 6.
  • Wash the carrots. Top and tail with a knife, then slice lengthways into long pieces approx. 1/2cm – 1cm in thickness. The pieces will probably be a little wonky – this is a good thing!
  • Skin the red onion and cut into 8 wedges. Place in a large roasting tin with the carrots.
  • In a mug or small bowl, mix together the olive oil, pomegranate molasses, sumac and cumin until combined. Pour the mixture over the carrot and red onion, and toss to cover the vegetables thoroughly with the dressing.
  • Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Give them a shake once or twice during cooking to loosen any veg stuck to the caramelised pomegranate molasses.
  • Meanwhile, cook the freekeh according to the packet instructions.
  • When the freekeh is cooked, drain and decant into your serving dish, and when the vegetables are cooked, place on top of the freekeh.
  • Next, cut the orange in half. Using a sharp knife, cut the flesh from one half and cut into 1cm pieces. Scatter over the freekeh and vegetables.
  • Squeeze the juice from the other half of the orange into a mug. Add the tahini and mix well.
  • Serve the finished salad warm or cold, scattered with the toasted pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds (optional), and drizzled with the tahini and orange dressing.

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