Smokey Freekah Pilaf with lemon yoghurt

As the festive season approaches, it’s useful to have a repertoire of dishes that you can take to parties, work lunches and bring-and-share gatherings. For me, it’s important that the dish is something everyone can enjoy, not just exclusively for vegans. What better way to celebrate the party season than with this delicately spiced Smokey Freekah Pilaf with salted lemon yoghurt….

Freekah is roasted green wheat, which has been eaten for thousands of years. It has a traditionally Middle Eastern culinary background and with it’s naturally smokey flavour, it is a kitchen favourite. The texture has a true al-dente bite making it perfect for pilafs and as an addition to salads and stuffings. And for those who ask, it’s full of protein and super simple to cook.

This pilaf has an addictive savoury-sweet flavour, with caramelised onions, cinnamon and mixed spice, alongside fresh parsley and coriander, topped with a salty, lemon-juice infused vegan yoghurt to bring all the flavours together.

It’s ready in under 30 minutes and can be served hot or cold. It will also keep well in the fridge for a couple of days- simply spoon the yoghurt over the pilaf just before serving.

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Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, sliced finely

100g freekah

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground mixed spice

200ml vegetable stock

Generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped roughly

Small handful of coriander, chopped roughly

1 tbsp flaked almonds

1 tbsp sultanas

For the yoghurt dressing:  

3 tbsp unsweetened soya yoghurt

Pinch of sea salt flakes

Juice of 1/2 unwaxed lemon

Method

  1. In a large pan, over a low heat, add the olive oil and onion and cook gently for 15 minutes until the onion has browned.
  2. In the meantime, soak the freekah in cold water for 10 minutes.
  3. When the onions have browned, drain the water from the freekah and add the freekah to the pan. Stir in the cinnamon, mixed spice and vegetable stock, increase the heat to medium and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, make the yoghurt dressing by combining the yoghurt, sea salt and lemon juice then set aside.
  5. Remove the freekah from the heat and allow to cool for a moment before stirring through the parsley, coriander and flaked almonds and sultanas. Spoon over the yoghurt just before serving.

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