Mid-week all vege meal, or serve with barbecued lamb? You choose.
175g (1 cup) freekeh 2½ cups water 1 medium-large eggplant (aubergine) Olive oil Flaky sea salt 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp capers, patted dry with paper towels and chopped 1 Tbsp chopped parsley 1 Tbsp snipped chives Freshly ground black pepper to taste 4 medium vine tomatoes, diced and drained in a sieve for 5 minutes 1 cup basil leaves For serving, extra virgin olive oil, lemon wedges, unsweetened yoghurt and dukkah
1 Put the freekeh in a sieve and rinse under running water. Transfer to a small saucepan with the measured water, bring water up to a bubble and cook gently for 20 minutes (without a lid), removing any scum that forms. Drain, rinse well with warm water, then drain for a further 5 minutes. If freekeh seems particularly wet, bundle it up in a clean cloth and press gently to extract water.
2 Preheat barbecue. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and cook on both sides until a good golden brown. Transfer to a plate as they are done and season with salt. Alternatively, heat a ridged grill pan or sturdy frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat and cook as described.
3 While the freekeh is just warm, mix in extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, capers, parsley, chives, salt to taste (about ¾ teaspoon flaky sea salt), add plenty of pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt if needed. Spoon onto a serving platter or into a bowl.
4 Chop eggplant roughly and pile on top of the freekeh, then add tomatoes and basil. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with lemon wedges and small bowls of yoghurt and dukkah.
Freekeh is green wheat that is sun dried and toasted to burn off chaff, then cracked into small edible pieces. The result is smoky and slightly chewy. Read more about it here Freekeh If not available substitute couscous, barley, farro or quinoa.