This cauliflower freekeh is a vegan twist on a traditional Middle Eastern dish that comes together in one pot, requires only 5 ingredients, and takes little effort to make! Freekeh is a dish that stars in many Middle Eastern gatherings, and it is a must for my mom to make whenever we have guests over. Traditionally it is made with roast chicken, but this cauliflower version might be even better, and is just as flavorful and filling as the traditional version!
Freekeh is smoked green wheat, and once you find out about its nutritional benefits, you might even choose it over quinoa! (Unless you have a gluten sensitivity.) It has almost twice as much fiber and more protein per serving than quinoa does, meaning it will also keep you feeling satisfied for longer. In this dish, the freekeh soaks up the flavors of the browned cauliflower and vegetable broth, resulting in a moist, fluffy texture. The cauliflower is browned but soft due to the cooking time and simply melts in your mouth! To top it all off, almonds lightly fried in olive oil are placed on top of the dish.
Traditionally it is served alongside yogurt, but tahini makes a delicious vegan alternative! Non-dairy yogurt, such as soy or coconut, also pairs well with this main dish.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Be sure to leave a comment below if you try it and tag your recreations on Instagram @zenanzaatar! 💕
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 3 cups freekeh
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 3 + 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 cups water
- Chop cauliflower into florets and sauté in 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pot for 10-15 mins, until all florets are browned.
- Rinse freekeh thoroughly. Place the washed freekeh in the pot with the cauliflower along with the water and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
- Simmer on low, covered for 40-50 mins, until all liquid has been absorbed by the freekeh.
- Fry almonds in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat until they begin to brown, less than 5 mins. As soon as they start to brown, remove from heat, as they will continue to cook.
- Place cooked cauliflower freekeh in a serving dish. Top with fried almonds. Serve with your favorite vegan yogurt or tahini. Enjoy!