It’s Easter Monday, and as I’m still trying to catch up on stuff after our trip to NYC (and since Pola said a Sunday post would not be convenient), I am taking this opportunity to introduce to you another great food blogger I’ve come to know and admire over the recent months. Pola is not only a great cook and fellow expat, she also has started “World on a Plate” (see the badge on the lower left), an expat food blogger group posting once a month on a theme we all decide on. But she can introduce herself better than I would, so:
Hi readers! I am so excited to cook over here at the German foodie. I was very honored that Sofie asked me to take over her blog for a day while she enjoys some time off. I started following Sofie, a couple of months ago and immediately became a fan. She is such a great baker! And she is so enthusiastic about food and blogging that you cannot but admire her!
Let me introduce myself I am PolaM from an Italian cooking in the Midwest. Quite obviously I am Italian and I am cooking in the Midwest. Like Sofie, I moved to the US a handful of years ago (well me more recently than her) and have a passion for cooking, which led me to start a blog. On my blog, I share authentic (if maybe not always traditional) Italian recipes.
Today I am sharing with you a roasted vegetables and freekeh salad. With spring coming, I like to try out new, light, cold dishes that can be enjoyed in the warmer months. This time I used freekeh which is smoked green wheat. It is an Arab dish and is delicious! The grain has a distinctive smoked flavor that makes it a great base for a different grain salad. I find it much tastier than all the other grains including rye, barley and regular wheat. I suggest you give it a try. It will surprise you!
This dish is perfect for a light lunch at the office!
- 7 oz. freekeh
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup cheese (I used Syrian cheese, but queso fresco should work great too)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Turn the oven on at 400F. While the oven is warming up, wash the peppers and the eggplant and slice the eggplant in ¼ inch slices.
- Place the whole peppers and the slices of eggplants in the oven, turning occasionally. The eggplants will take about 15 minutes, while the pepper should take about 25 minutes.
- Once the eggplants are roasted place them in a dish with the oil, the garlic clove cut in half, a pinch of oregano and a pinch of salt. Cover and let rest until cold.
- When the peppers are done take them from the oven and place them in a paper bag to cool down. When they are cold enough to handle, peel the skin off. Cooling down in the paper bag will make the peppers much easier to peel.
- While the vegetables cool down, cook the freekeh in salted boiling water. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes to cook depending on how al dente you want it. When the freekeh is cooked, drain it and cool it with cold running water.
- In a bowl dress the freekeh with the vegetables cut in squares and the cheese diced. Add more oil and salt if necessary, but I find that the oil absorbed by the eggplants is more than enough to dress the whole dish.
- Let rest for a couple of hours or even overnight so that the flavors have the time to marry.