Freekeh, Red Lentil & Roasted Veggie Bowl

Margie Bruner - Glory Kitchenby: Margie Bruner, owner of Glory Kitchen
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This bright and colorful Freekeh, Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Bowl incorporates unique flavors from far and wide.  In it, I’ve used a Middle Eastern grain called Freekeh (pronounced “free-kah”), considered a supergrain by some, and made from green durum wheat.  Freekeh is popular in Middle Eastern cuisines and can be compared to farro or brown rice but is a bit greenish in color and the grain itself is a frayed and not smooth and rounded like the grains of rice or farro.  Freekeh is a popular grain often seen in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and Jordan but it is gaining popularity and becoming more familiar here in America.

This Freekeh, Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Bowl recipe incorporates lentils and the pretty leaves of shredded radicchio which is tossed in for color and a to add the note of a bitter lettuce.  Adding to the colorful dish, cauliflower is roasted and seasoned with our Glory Kitchen Mumbai nut & spice mix as well as turmeric to create a bright yellow color and robust flavor.  The tender cauliflower had a delicious flavor and would make a terrific side dish on its own; I had a very hard time not eating it completely as it emerged hot from the oven.  And finally, roasted broccoli, which is one of our family’s very favorite, added a bright green color to this full-flavored dish.

Although there are many steps to making this dish, none of them are complex, it just takes a bit of time and planning.  You could always make the roasted scallion dressing (a great recipe repeat for a flavorful dressing on so many other things) and roast the cauliflower & broccoli the day before.  Or cook the lentils and freekeh ahead and refrigerate overnight.  Once all of the prep work is done and each ingredient is placed in its own bowl, it’s just a matter of tossing together and arranging it nicely on a serving plate.  If I were making this for guests I would prepare all of the ingredients ahead and store in the refrigerator, bring them all to room temperature, and then put them all together just before serving.  Enjoy!

Freekeh, Red Lentil & Roasted Veggie Bowl

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

    for the dressing:
  • 1 tsp Mumbai nut & spice blend
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bunch fresh scallions, roasted & chopped
  • 1 heaping teaspoon whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoon honey
  • good pinch of salt
  • for the salad:
  • Mumbai nut & spice blend
  • 2 cups uncooked freekeh
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (or fresh if you have)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small head radicchio lettuce, torn or sliced into small pieces
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • sea salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 420ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spread the cauliflower onto one of the baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil, turmeric, sea salt and 2 teaspoons Mumbai nut & spice blend. Toss together well, spread the cauliflower out onto the sheet and place into the hot oven to roast until golden and caramelized. Remove to cool. This takes about 20 minutes.
  2. On another sheet, add the broccoli drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and tossed. On the other side of the broccoli baking sheet, add the scallions for the dressing (leave whole). Also drizzle the scallions with oil, sea salt and spread out onto the tray alongside the broccoli. Place this tray into the oven and bake until all are caramelized (about 20 minutes). The onions will brown first, so as soon as they are lightly browned, using tongs, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
  3. Take the roasted onions and chop into small pieces, add to a mixing bowl. To the onions, add all the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk together and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, place the lentils and a few pinches of salt into a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by at least an inch. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until al dente tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Once tender, rinse and set aside.
  5. Cook the freekeh according to package directions and then set aside to cool.
  6. Lightly toast the walnuts in a medium sauté pan and toast over low heat until golden brown. Transfer nuts to a board and coarsely chop.
  7. In a large bowl, toss together the cooled lentils & freekeh, golden raisins, shallots, walnuts, parsley, a good pinch of sea salt, pepper, radicchio (keep a few for garnishing at the end) 1-2 teaspoons of Mumbai nut & spice blend, and 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Toss gently then place some into the bottom of each serving plate or bowl. If serving this on a large platter, place all of the freekeh/lentil mixture onto the platter. Arrange the roasted broccoli and turmeric cauliflower on top of the freekeh. Top with a few more radicchio leaves and extra walnuts & parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Our Glory Kitchen Cairo nut & spice mix would also work well with this beautiful dish. If you can't find freekeh you could always substitute farro, quinoa or brown rice. I used red lentils but of course you could use any type of lentil you have on hand. As always, improvise as you cook! If you don't have an ingredient or have trouble finding, always get creative and substitute with something else.

Freekeh, Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Bowl
Freekeh, Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Bowl
Freekeh, Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Bowl
Freekeh, Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Bowl
Freekeh, Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Bowl
Freekeh, Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Bowl
Freekeh, Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Bowl