Freekeh Salad with Chicken and Roasted Apricots

Muzna Bishara

50 minutes

2-4 servings

Photography: Matan Choufan

In this new interpretation of the beloved tabbouleh salad from Muzna Bishara, the bulgur is replaced with freekeh, which has a coarser texture and a smoky flavor. It’s paired with cold roast chicken and roasted apricots for a hearty salad. You can use last night’s roast chicken leftovers and the apricots can be substituted with any other seasonal fruit such as grapes, nectarines, peaches, and even pumpkin.

Ingredients

  • For the chicken breast
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar (dried hyssop)
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • For the Vinaigrette
  • 4 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar (dried hyssop)
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • For the freekeh 
  • 10½-ounces / 300 grams freekeh (2 ½ cups), rinsed and strained
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch mint, leaves only, chopped
  • 3-4 scallions, chopped 
  • Salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • For the apricots
  • 5-6 large firm apricots, halved and stone removed
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • A pinch of ground allspice or baharat spice mix

Preparation

  1. Prepare the chicken breast: Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Combine the chicken strips with the herbs and olive oil and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool and chop coarsely.
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette: Transfer the ingredients to a small jar, close and shake well. Set aside until ready to serve.
  3. Prepare the freekeh: Bring a pot with plenty of water and ½ teaspoon of salt to a boil over a high heat. Add the freekeh and cook for 20 minutes. Add the raisins in the last 2 minutes. Strain and mix in the lemon juice and zest.
  4. Roast the apricots: Combine the apricots with the olive oil, honey and allspice (or baharat). Heat a griddle pan over a high heat and cook the apricots 2-3 minutes on each side, until caramelized.
  5. Heat a dry pan over medium heat and lightly toast the pistachios. Remove from the heat and sprinkle over the cooked freekeh. 
  6. Add the chopped scallions, mint, parsley, chicken breast, and vinaigrette to the freekeh and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  7. To serve: Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and arrange the roasted apricots on top.

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