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Freekeh Pilaf with Green Olives and Almonds


Freekeh is a slightly smoky grain. Its flavour comes from it being roasting over an open fire. This pilaf is great as a side, or good by itself too. You can use this same base with lots of different combinations of nuts and extras if you don’t like the sound of green olives and almonds. 


125g unsalted butter

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 red onions, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely grated

250g freekeh rinsed under cold water

125g currants

200g Sicilian olives pitted and roughly chopped

700ml boiling water

100g slivered almonds, lightly roasted 

Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Handful of mint leaves only, shredded

1 small bunch of chives, chopped

1 lemon, juiced

Flake sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Then add the freekeh. Fry off the freekah until it is all covered with oil, for around 2-3 minutes. Add your currents, then, being careful, pour in the boiling water. The grains will be very hot after being fried so the water can spit a little.


Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little extra water if it seems a bit dry. The freekeh should be just tender, but still with a little bite to it. Once cooked through, take off the heat and stir through almonds, herbs, olives, lemon juice and check the seasoning and serve.

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