Freekeh salad with blackberry vinaigrette

Here is the savory dish that I promised to share with you, Freekeh salad with a blackberry vinaigrette.  What is freekeh, you ask?  It’s a smoked green wheat that is harvested young so it has more protein, vitamins and minerals than it’s mature counterparts.  It is low on the glycemic index, low in carbohydrates and high in protein, making it a great alternative to white or even brown rice.  If you can’t find freekeh you could easily substitute wheat berries which have a very similar texture but it won’t have the same smoky undertones that are distinctive to this ancient grain.  I was lucky enough to purchase some at my local farmers market last week and am hoping that I will be able to track some more down soon!  The blackberry vinaigrette pairs really nicely with the the licorice spice of the fennel, for a non-vegan version a little crumble of goat cheese would put this salad over the top!

Freekeh salad with blackberries and pistachios

Ingredients:

for the blackberry vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

for the salad:

  • 1 cup freekeh
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 bulb fennel
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Method:

For the vinaigrette:

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  The flavors should be a nice balance of salty and sweet, feel free to adjust the amount of vinegar or honey.  You may need to add a little bit more water if the dressing is too thick.

For the salad:

Prepare the freekeh by bringing 5 cups of cold water and the tablespoon of salt to a boil and cook uncovered until the freekeh is tender but still retains some bite, about 45 mintutes.  Drain the freekeh and toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and set aside to let the flavors develop while you finish the salad.  Thinly slice the fennel with a mandoline reserving the fronds for garnish.  To serve gently toss the greens, fennel and blackberries with the freekeh adding a little extra dressing to lightly coat everything, sprinkle with the pistachios and fennel fronds and serve.

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  • Meet Tina | Scaling Back Blog

    Self-taught cook, photographer.  You can usually find me at a farmers market dreaming up alternative recipes for my allergy prone family.

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