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Freekeh Salad, dried fruit, pine nuts, za’atar

Freekah Salad, Dried Fruit, Pine Nuts, Za' atar

Freekeh Salad, dried fruit, pine nuts, za’atar

Smoky scents of grills waft in the distance, greetings and hugs intermingle between busy participants readying long tables lined with selections of old favorites, varying combinations of classics for filling the crowds, and then, some foods with newer twists whose play will determine their own score by the crowds taste testers, its Tailgate time. 

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Well it was the first Tailgate of the season for us this season anyway, having the opportunity to join in with our favorite university field hockey team over the weekend. Revisiting some happy memories of the past, while meeting some of the new players and their families at this great tradition of the outdoor shared table together.

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Ah, there’s my girl, Alex the Athlete, now graduated two seasons past. These are memories to forever embrace and cherish for both players and their families. And as our Coach, Steve Jennings says, “you get out of it, what you put into it.” The moment made me recall our freshman year and those senior parents at the time emphasizing to us the importance of treasuring every moment, and giving it the best that you’ve got during that fleeting time. It goes by so fast.

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The Team Family Tailgate is not like an Instagram photo with a single juicy burger topped with bacon and all sorts of fancy accompaniments.

The Team Family Tailgate serves to nourish the team and their families through a sustaining meal, and in the bonding built together through these efforts. It is a lot of hard work. It requires a sort of “buy in” of commitment.

The team players have their job, and the families have theirs, and between these two functions, as they call it ‘aunit,’ one not only creates memories, but builds on lasting friendships of a lifetime.

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 Originally, since the team was scheduled to be in town over the weekend, we had planned on Tailgating at both games. But my grandson, the J-Dude had his very first cross country meet requiring a schedule readjust and preparing lots of extra for the following days Tailgate.

We made grilled burgers and four salads, three of these were tweaked former classics that used to go over well, and one offering a whole new twist on things, Freekeh Salad, dried fruit, pine nuts, za’atar.

We had a lot of discussion around my house surrounding this salad and its preparation. Ultimately, my eldest, the J-Dudes mom, Sooky the Stylist, wanted it to be served alongside lettuce cups. We liked the concept, and it tasted great, though thinking of it too late, we didn’t have enough little lettuce cups so this Freekeh Salad was served atop some endive. At Tailgating end, with just some little kernels stuck to the greens, it was a score that gave me another delicious winning salad to share with you for Tailgate Tuesday.

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And look at the J-Dude #674 who pulls ahead and places to get his first ribbon ever. So exciting!

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Team Family Tailgating. It’s hard work. But the commitment, along with the preparation of providing sustaining meals, all builds in the treasured memories and friendships for a lifetime. It’s a fleeting moment, so worthwhile in giving it all you’ve got. Go Team. 

Freekeh Salad, dried fruit, pine nuts, za'atar

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Category: Pasta-Rice-Grains, Tailgate/Team Family

Yield: 4

Freekeh Salad, dried fruit, pine nuts, za'atar

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freekeh
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water, approximately more or less as needed
  • 1/8 cups dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/8 cup golden raisins
  • 1 orange, grated rind, cut segments, remaining orange from segments squeezed for juice
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted in a pan
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon za'atar, or more to taste
  • couple good pinches coarse kosher salt at finish, or more to taste
  • few grinds fresh cracked pepper
  • small lettuce pieces such as baby green leaf or bibb

Instructions

  1. Carefully rinse freekeh kernels and remove any loose skins, also checking for any pebbles or debris as you would with beans
  2. In a medium sized saucepan add the freekeh along with a teaspoon oil, a good pinch salt, and 2 cups either chicken stock or water, bring to a boil, stir. Reduce heat to lowest temperature and cover tightly with a lid, cooking for around fifteen minutes before forking through tasting for done-ness, adding a bit more liquid if needed and continuing to cook until freekeh is soft with still an el dente bite
  3. Once cooked, let freekeh sit covered for ten minutes, transfer to a large platter and fork through to separate the grains
  4. Stir through the chopped dried cranberries, golden raisins, red onion, toasted pine nuts, fresh mint, and orange zest
  5. Season salad with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in Za'taar. Fold in the orange segments then squeeze in the rest of the juice remaining from the orange segments and skin.
  6. Stir, check seasoning, adjust to taste. Serve on a bed of greens or with individual lettuce cups on the side for filling

Notes

Double recipe for Tailgating. Bring along an extra orange for squeezing into the salad just before serving. Check seasoning, adjusting to taste.

http://spicedpeachblog.com/freekeh-salad-dried-fruit-pine-nuts-zaatar/

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4 Comments

  1. Posted September 22, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    What fun! Congratulations to J-Dude! Family celebrations can never be captured by an Instagram shot. While photos are nice, as is that last one…gorgeous!, they are one dimensional, and real time experiences with those we love, go far beyond pixel capacity. Here’s to a wonderful season of tailgating and memory making. Go team!
    Kelly recently posted…Move over PSL…there’s a new pumpkin in townMy Profile

    • Posted September 23, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Hi Kelly, Thanks so much and I’ve shared Congrats with the J-Dude just now as they are off of school today for Jewish holiday. I’m enjoying my ‘pumpkin spice coffee’ lol. It really is so true on the beauty of photos, yet the limitations on the true experience. I’m off to Korean Cooking Classes which I shall be sharing as it transpires. Talk to you soon. Go Team. Big Hugs to you.

  2. Posted January 2, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Great recipe. I would love to try making my own salad mixed with dried fruit and nuts. Check this out, my sister used to buy nuts and dried fruits here: https://gourmetnutsanddriedfruit.com/

  3. Posted April 9, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    This is great for athletes.

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.