When I was little my mom often made something called Grünkern, an old-fashioned German grain, basically wheat that was harvested when still green. Of course I didn’t really like it at the time but now I feel kind of nostalgic about it and wanted to try it again. Only today I realized it’s almost the same as freekeh, very common in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. It’s actually considered a superfood and has great nutritional value and high fiber content. It’s chewey and nourishing and gives just the right substance to arugula and the sour-sweet raspberries, with their tangy red wine vinegar shallot dressing.
Ingredients (for two portions):
Two handfuls of arugula leaves
Half a fennel
Half a shallot
Half a cucumber, or one small one
A few raspberries
About 50 grams (three ounces) of freekeh grains or Grünkern
Three tablespoons of red wine vinegar
Six tablespoons of olive oil
Fresh herbs, such as basil, majoram, tarragon or lavender
Boil the freekeh/ Grünkern in a pot of water until tender (they stay quite chewey, but they shouldn’t be crunchy), about twenty minutes. Drain the grains and keep aside. Peel and slice the cucumber and cut the fennel in very thin slices. Chop up the fresh herbs. For the dressing, finely dice the shallot, mix with vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix everything well with the dressing. Add the freekeh and the raspberries on top and sprinkle the salad with a few lavender petals if you want. Serve with toasted baguette and goat cheese. Enjoy!