Chef Alex’s Lunchbox: Freekeh-Lentil Salad with Artichokes and Preserved Lemon
We recently showed you how easy it is to make your own preserved lemons, and this freekeh-lentil salad is the perfect starter recipe to use them in. Freekeh has a wonderful meaty texture to it, which goes well with the earthiness of French lentils. Sundried tomatoes provide savory bursts of flavor, while the preserved lemons and parsley give the salad a irresistible springtime freshness.
It seems like there are a lot of steps to making this salad but you can cook the freekeh, lentils and artichokes simultaneously. Try it for a light Sunday supper and take the leftovers with you to work for a healthy lunch.
(Yield: 6 portions)
1 cup freekeh
2 cups boiling water
½ cup French lentils
1 lemon, halved
4 baby artichokes
1 whole preserved lemon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 Tbsp. sliced rehydrated sundried tomatoes
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
Rinse freekeh in cold water and place in a medium sauce pot. Over medium heat, toast freekeh until all moisture has evaporated. Add 2 cups boiling water and a pinch of sea salt. Stir, lower the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and spread out on a baking sheet to cool, leaving room on the sheet for the lentils.
Meanwhile, rinse lentils. Transfer to a pot and cover with water by about 2”. Season with scant pinch of sea salt and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to the baking sheet to cool.
Bring another pot of water to a boil. Juice lemon into a large bowl and leave lemons in the bowl; set aside.
Peel off tough outer layers from artichokes, trim 1” off the top, and remove chokes. Cut each artichoke into 8 pieces. Transfer to the bowl with lemon and add water to cover.
Season boiling water with salt. Drain artichokes and transfer to boiling water. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove artichokes with a slotted spoon and transfer to the baking sheet to cool.
Slice into lemons and scrape off interior flesh; discard. Dice lemon peel; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, vinegar, preserved lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Add freekeh, lentils, artichokes, sundried tomatoes and parsley; mix to incorporate. Taste and season with salt, if necessary.