Freekah grain salad with celeriac leaves

One gardening fail leads to another cooking adventure! Back in October I posted about my abundance of celeriac leaves on our Facebook group. I have never grown celeriac before and my plants simply did not swell up at the roots. So, my creativity has been challenged in trying to make the most out of this crop.

The leaves are very healthy!

I have used the leaves in a risotto which worked well. The leaves are tougher than, for example, parsley so do need a little cooking down. They have a nice mild celery flavour.

Any grain or rice would have been nice in this recipe. Freekah is smoked wheat. This idea is far from a traditional freekah grain recipe. I have a feeling any Syrian chefs out there may be horrified by this use, but it was pretty tasty and made a good alternative to using pearl barley or bulgar wheat which would have been my other main choices.

100g freekah grain
1tbs olive oil, 500ml cold water and 1tsp salt to cook the freekah
Large bunch of celeriac leaves, chopped
100g smoked almonds
2 medium chopped tomatoes (fresh)
2 medium fresh chillies (more or less to your preferred heat)
1/2 medium finely chopped onion
1 can (400g) cooked chick peas
1tbs pomegranate mollases
salt and pepper to taste

1. Add freekah and celeriac leaves with the water, oil and salt into a pan and simmer for about 15 mins until the grains are tender and the water has been absorbed.
2. Chop almonds, chilli, onion and tomato.
3. Add all ingredients to the cooked freekah grains and season to taste.
4. Serve warm or cold.