Salad of crispy carrots and herby freekah

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Anyone who knows me well would think that the only reason this salad is in this book is so I can say ‘crispy carrots and herby freekah’. It’s not the case, although I did have lots of fun saying it over and over again.

The carrots in this recipe are cut into thin ribbons, flavoured with cumin and roasted until crispy, then used to decorate the top of an earthy and extremely healthy plate of kale and freekah. It’s as much fun to eat as it is to say!

Ingredients

  • 175 g (6 oz/1 cup) wholegrain freekah
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 7 g (¼ oz/¼ cup) chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon rind
  • 180 g ( oz/2 cups) thinly sliced curly kale leaves
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Put the freekah in a saucepan with 1.5 litres (52 fl oz/6 cups) water. Add the sea salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the carrots and then use the vegetable peeler to remove ribbons of carrot. Put the olive oil and cumin in a bowl and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the carrot ribbons and gently toss to evenly coat in the oil. Transfer the carrot ribbons to the prepared tray and arrange them evenly over the tray. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, or until the carrots are a little crispy. Remove from the oven.

When the freekah is cooked, drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add the celery, parsley, mint, lemon juice and preserved lemon and stir to combine.

Put the kale in a separate bowl and add the olive oil. Using your hands, work the oil into the kale. This will help to soften the kale and make it a little less springy. Add the kale to the other ingredients and stir to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Arrange the freekah salad on a serving plate and top with the crispy carrot ribbons.