Freekeh salad with Zatar Roasted Carrots

Freekeh salad with Zatar roasted Carrots
Freekeh is dried green wheat, harvested while the grains are still soft, then sun-dried. It is very common in the Middle East and North Africa, and is used in the same way as bulgur, couscous or pearled spelt. It works well as an accompanying pilaf or a salad, in this case with pomegranate seeds, almonds, mint and spring onion and spinach.

Serves 4
Ingredients for Freekeh

200g freekeh, pearled spelt or pearled barley
5 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 pomegranate, seeds only
handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
handful mint, roughly chopped
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp almonds or any of your favorite nut, roughly crushed
1 pomegranate—remove the seeds and set aside- 2to 3 tbsp
salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of spinach

Ingredients for Za’tar Roasted Carrots
10 medium (about 1.2kg) carrots, peeled
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp za’atar
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon

Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius. Quarter the carrots lengthways, and then slice into 6cm fingers (or whatever shape you like). Place on a baking tray, coat in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place in the oven to roast. After about 15 minutes, add the sliced red onions to the baking tray and put back into the oven. In total, the carrots should take about 25-30 minutes. When starting to crisp and turn golden, remove from oven and sprinkle over the za’atar and lemon juice.
Put the freekeh and 1 litre/1¾ pint water in a pan together with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until just tender. Drain and allow to cool.
When cool, mix together the freekeh with the spring onions, pomegranate seeds and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil and the pomegranate molasses with a pinch of salt, and dress the salad with it, mixing gently. Serve topped with almonds ,pomegranate seeds, roasted carrots and spinach.