This Middle Eastern-inspired dish presents itself as exceptionally fanciful, but it comes together quick enough for a weekday dinner while bringing an array of wonderful textures to the table. If using thicker carrots, slice them in half lengthwise before roasting.
Za’atar is a cherished Middle Eastern spice blend consisting of sumac, sesame seeds, and herbs such as thyme. One taste and you’ll be looking to add it to dishes wherever you can. It can punch up everything from salad dressings to soups, roasted vegetables, and dips.
To save time in the kitchen, consider making big batches of ancient grains at once and then freezing extras for future use.
Bring 2 cups (500 mL) water to a boil in medium-sized saucepan. Add freekeh and a couple of pinches of salt. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer covered until water is absorbed and grains are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain any excess liquid, let stand covered for 5 minutes, and then fluff with fork. Stir chickpeas, apricots, and garlic into pan. In small bowl, whisk together 2 tsp (10 mL) oil, lemon juice, cumin, and black pepper. Toss dressing with freekeh mixture.
To roast carrots, preheat oven to 425 F (220 C) and place rimmed baking sheet in oven as it preheats. Toss carrots with 2 tsp (10 mL) oil and salt. Spread out carrots on hot baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until carrots are easily pierced with a fork near the top of their stems. If needed, remove any carrots from oven that have finished cooking before others.
Heat dry skillet over medium heat. Add pistachios and heat until fragrant and darkened, shaking the pan often, about 3 minutes. Let cool and then roughly chop. Whisk together yogurt, zau2019atar, and pinch of salt.
To assemble the dish, pour freekeh mixture onto large serving platter. Arrange roasted carrots in single layer over mixture. Drizzle yogurt sauce over top, then sprinkle on pistachios and parsley.
Licorice-flavoured fennel, tart apple, and a hint of pleasant bitterness from radicchio combines with a touch of sweet dressing for a refreshingly delicious salad. Fennel contains a number of vitamins and minerals known to be involved in digestion, including vitamin C, manganese, and niacin which helps transform the food you eat into energy. Apple adds sweet crunch and all-important fibre. Know your fennel The fennel bulb we buy at the market is a cultivar variety known as Florence fennel. Fennel seeds, which are sometimes eaten after a meal to ease digestion, and which are also used for cooking, come from the common fennel, which grows wild in southern Europe, Australia, and parts of the US.
Adding farro, with its nutty bite, is a delicious and convenient way to increase your soup’s fibre and nutritional value. This hearty soup is the perfect remedy to a cold January day. Lemon and chervil add a bright contrast to the fibre-packed earthy flavours. Farro timesaver With a long cooking time, it’s worth it to cook a larger amount of farro and freeze it in small-portioned batches which can be thawed quickly. Using a ratio of 1:4 farro to water, cook on medium-high heat until farro is al dente, in a similar manner to the way you would cook pasta. Drain, rinse, portion, and freeze for later use. To thaw, simply run frozen farro under water or add directly to soup.
Oven-roasted delicata squash makes a crispy treat atop this green salad. As its name suggests, this squash has a thin, delicate skin that’s tasty when cooked. Pomegranate molasses, an ingredient common in Lebanese and Middle-Eastern cuisine, brings a sweet and sour flavour to the dressing. No pine nuts? Use squash seeds! Simply collect about 1/4 cup (60 mL) seeds from cleaned squash, rinse, and mix with 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) of the spice mix used to roast the squash and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) olive oil. Roast at 425 F (220 C) on parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Look for whole grain farro, which leaves the germ and bran intact, for this satisfying porridge that’s sure to kickstart your day. While the cooking time is longer than for pearled or semi-pearled varieties, you’ll get more nutrition. Take the time to enjoy the delicate scent of cardamom and ginger wafting through your kitchen as you prepare this. Ancient grain Farro (also referred to as emmer or einkorn) is a variety of wheat known as an ancient grain, which means that it hasn’t changed over time through breeding as is the case with many varieties of modern wheat.