Monday, April 20, 2009

Healthy freekah salad a la Cumulus

I went to Cumulus Inc in the city for the first time a few weeks ago- have to say, the food didn't knock my socks off and the tapas style way of serving made for an overly long lunch and a nagging feeling of not being quite full (I know- I should just get with the programme- this is the way its done in Melbourne these days!).

One course that I really loved was a Cracked Wheat and Freekah Salad. Lo and behold, in this month's Gourmet Traveller, a reader has asked for the recipe and it is there for all to see.

Now I had a first crack at making the recipe as per the mag, and it was delicious, but I was a little put off by all the butter that goes in. So tonight I had a crack at it without the butter- and hip-hip hurray- it still tastes great and alot less fat.

So if you want to make a healthier version, just leave out all the butter. And to save some time, just cook the Cracked Wheat and freekah together- I can't really see any reason to cook them separately. Not on a weeknight anyway- and not when hubby does the washing up.

Great combination of sour and salty flavours and without all that butter really healthy. Probably took around an hour to make- and we ate it served with some lamb chops - yum- and there's enough left for lunch tomorrow.

I sent the recipe to one of the girls I was lunching with, who also loved the salad- and she hasn't made it yet, cause she is daunted by the ingredients- so here some hints on the ingredients.

The freekah (which I had never heard of before) was available in the healthfood section of our local Coles- so imagine would be available in most large supermarkets, or even health food stores (apparently its amazingly good for you!).

The labne and barberries (neither of which I'd heard of before) are really worth seeking out. A good middle Eastern food store should stock them- I got mine at a little store on Sydney Road up near the A1 bakery (always worth a visit).

The barberries are deliciously tart and I can imagine using them in any recipe you might otherwise use cranberries- they are apparently a staple of Persian cooking and once rehydrated (just soak 10 minutes in water) can be used to spice up couscous or crush them dried to rub into chicken before baking. Here's what they look like dry.

Labne is a cheese made from yoghurt- convenient to buy, but if you were really keen, you could try and make your own- would be quite a feeling- to make your own cheese! Found a recipe here- you'd just leave out the herbs on this one

However you choose to make this salad, I'm sure it will be delish- I certainly love it!

1 comment:

tyggerjai said...

Barberries are also essential for a proper Uzbekistanian ploff - I'm glad you include directions for finding them in Melbourne, you've saved me the effort when I get back home :)