Cracked wheat and freekah salad with barberry dressing

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 golden shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 80 gm (½ cup) coarse bulghur (cracked wheat; see note)
  • 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 85 gm (½ cup) freekah, soaked in 185ml water for 30 minutes, drained (see note)
  • 1½ tsp finely chopped preserved lemon rind
  • 60 gm almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup each coarsely chopped mint and flat-leaf parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp chardonnay vinegar
  • 6 labne (about 120 gm; see note)
  •  
  • Barberry dressing
  • 30 gm (1/3 cup) barberries (see note)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
01   Preheat oven to 160C. Heat 2 tsp oil in an ovenproof saucepan over medium heat, add half the celery, half the shallot and half the garlic and sauté until soft (5-7 minutes). Add bulghur, half the butter and 185ml water. Bring to the boil, cover closely with a round of baking paper and bake in oven until tender (15-20 minutes), then spread on a tray to cool completely.
02   Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp olive oil in a separate ovenproof saucepan over medium heat, add remaining celery, shallot and garlic and sauté until soft (5-7 minutes). Add freekah, remaining butter and 200ml water. Bring to the boil, cover closely with a round of baking paper and bake in oven until tender (15-20 minutes), then spread on a tray to cool completely.
03   Meanwhile, for barberry dressing, bring barberries and 120ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, remove from heat, strain through a fine sieve, reserve liquid and barberries separately and cool. Whisk barberry liquid and oil in a bowl to combine, season to taste and set aside.
04   Combine bulghur, freekah, preserved lemon rind, almonds, herbs, lemon juice, vinegar, remaining olive oil and reserved barberries in a bowl. Season to taste and toss to combine. Arrange on a serving platter, scatter with labne, drizzle with barberry dressing and serve immediately.
Note Freekah is dried immature durum wheat. Freekah and bulghur are available from health-food sections of select supermarkets and delicatessens. Freekah is also available online from greenwheatfreekeh.com.au. Labne is strained yoghurt cheese available from delicatessens. Barberries are small dried red berries with a tart flavour available from select delicatessens and Middle Eastern grocery stores, and online from pariyafood.com.

Recipe:

ANDREW MCCONNELL, CUMULUS INC

Photography:

JASON LOUCAS

Styling:

EMMA KNOWLES

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