I was a vegetarian for over 30 years and so was always looking for new ideas with interesting grains. This recipe combines a number of my favourite ingredients – peas, pomegranate and red onion – and is the epitome of the taste of summer.
Preparation: 15-20 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour
● 3 red onions, finely sliced
● 30g caster sugar
● Sea salt and black pepper
● 125ml balsamic vinegar, plus extra for drizzling
● 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
● 400g packet of freekeh
● 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
● 160g peas
● ½ bunch coriander roughly chopped
● 200g feta cheese, crumbled
● Preheat the oven to 180°C.
● Place the onion on a baking tray and sprinkle with the sugar, salt and pepper.
● Pour over the balsamic vinegar and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes, then toss and continue roasting until caramelised and golden, about 1 hour.
● While the onion is cooking, rinse the freekeh. Place in a saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, then simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until the freekeh is tender but still firm.
● Rinse and drain thoroughly. Place in a salad bowl.
● Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes, and then refresh immediately in cold water. Drain and cut into 2cm pieces.
● Cook the peas in boiling salted water for 1 minute, then refresh.
● Toss the caramelised onion with the cooking juices through the freekeh.
● Add the asparagus, peas, coriander and feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper and, if necessary, extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve at room temperature.