Squash stuffed with freekeh pilaf
March 14, 2010 • Category: Whole Grain/Bulgur/Rice, Main Dish
Roasted green wheat or freekeh is a wheat berry that has been harvested early and smoked in the fields; it used to be the main cereal for the people of Lebanon, Palestine and Syria before the introduction of rice; it is currently experiencing a revival of sorts amongst the foodie crowd in Lebanon because of its amazing nutritional properties.
I like to go roaming in Asian markets near my house and when I saw this beautiful Kabocha squash, I could not pass it up! It is so sweet, so mellow, so wonderful to eat alone with a pat of butter or with a bowl of freekeh.
- 1 Kabocha squash
- 1 cup of roasted green wheat or freekeh (can substitute other whole-grain of your choice)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups of a cut up peppers (green, red, yellow and orange)
- 1 lemon
- Spices: cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, black or white pepper, paprika, to taste.
- 3 cloves of garlic mashed with a dash of salt (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 3 cups of water or broth
- Place the squash in a 375F oven for 30 minutes or longer until a knife inserted in its flesh comes out very easily.
- In the meantime, prepare the freekeh:
- Rinse the green wheat and let it sit in a bowl of water for a few minutes to dust it off and get rid of any tiny stones or particles. Pour into a strainer.
- Heat some olive oil in a big pot and fry the onion and some of the bell peppers for a few minutes; add the freekeh and stir-fry it for a couple of minutes, adding the spices to the mixture.
- Add three cups of water and the tomato paste, close the lid, let it simmer for 30 minutes or more until the freekeh is thoroughly cooked and soft.
- When the squash is cool enough, cut it in half lengthwise with a serrated knife. Scoop out the seeds and filaments. Place a pat of butter on the surface and swirl it around to cover the cut surface. Place the freekeh mixture, adjust seasoning, and serve.
- Freekeh is 4 times more nutritious than brown rice.
- You can add the diced peppers raw after cooking the freekeh.
- You can squeeze a lemon quarter on your meal.
- Freekeh needs to be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed before using; place in a bowl and cover with water. Rinse and repeat.
42 Comments • Comments Feed
the wicked noodle says:
This looks absolutely delicious, healthy and it’s gorgeous to boot!
On March 14, 2010 at 6:26 pm
Dinners and Dreams says:
Delicious presentation and ingredients.
On March 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm
Chef Fresco says:
Joumana, these look amazing… I’m thinking of these two flavors together, I don’t know why I have not tried it sooner. Great pics too!
On March 14, 2010 at 7:28 pm
The Little Teochew says:
A beautiful, delicious vegetarian dish! I’d dive into this in an instant!
On March 14, 2010 at 8:18 pm
I first discovered kabocha from the genius pastry chef Pichet Ong in NYC. He steamed it and used it in a brilliant dessert… I have been a fan ever since.. this is a wonderful recipe, and I just saw Freekeh at the store this weekend… thank you!
On March 14, 2010 at 8:29 pm
WOw Joumana, this is something I can eat every day………..
Love all the flavours you used… Great Photos as well.
When are you going back to Lebanon???..
On March 14, 2010 at 8:34 pm
The Nervous Cook says:
I absolutely can’t wait to try this — it looks exquisite! Now I’ll have to track down some freekah…
On March 14, 2010 at 8:59 pm
This dish is simply beautiful. I am going to try this one. It looks and sounds delicious.
On March 14, 2010 at 9:21 pm
Sushma Mallya says:
so beautiful & looks so colourful…
On March 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm
WHEEEE!!! Kabocha!!! Eeee!! My favorite food EVER!!! I’m so excited to see this humble squahs being featured in your blog! And with freekeh! I got to try it once and loved the chewiness of it. But I can’t find it now, so I suppose wheatberries will have to do!
On March 14, 2010 at 10:37 pm
That healthy dish looks so appetizing and beautiful!
On March 15, 2010 at 1:57 am
Love this idea … looks really delicious … a definite must try 🙂
On March 15, 2010 at 2:57 am
Awesome presentation and looks utterly delicious!
On March 15, 2010 at 3:00 am
What a FABULOUS looking dish!! So healthy too!!
I alqso love the colours in it!!
That must taste awesome! Oooh,..yes!
On March 15, 2010 at 3:10 am
Stuffed kabocha is the best. It is a dish that never fails to please! I’ve never had freekeh before…have to look into it as a brown rice substitute.
On March 15, 2010 at 5:03 am
oum mouncifrayan says:
wawwww!!! un travail de pro! bravo
On March 15, 2010 at 5:07 am
Wild! I have never heard of freekeh before – I will keep an eye out for it.
On March 15, 2010 at 6:04 am
Mathilde's Cuisine says:
The recipe looks absolutely delicious. I have always been a huge fan of Lebanese cuisine and funny enough, I went to a Lebanese restaurant in London yesterday. The food is so delicious and tasty. I will try your recipe soon
On March 15, 2010 at 8:06 am
Aysegul - nysdelight says:
Joumana – this is on freekeh recipe I must try – I’ve gotten recipes from our customers at the store but each is so different. I enjoy eating recipes with freek but I have not found one that I made that turned outs good.
I will try this and let you know for sure!
On March 15, 2010 at 8:55 am
Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) says:
Mabrouk 3a new layout Joumana! Love it! Love freekeh and what a fantastic recipe!
On March 15, 2010 at 10:10 am
jolies photos une belle présentation un plat fabuleux je t”en félicite bravo
bonne fin de journée
On March 15, 2010 at 10:40 am
Love this! It’s easy, healthy, and comforting. What more could you ask for? Stuffed squash are soooo special. I had some amazing ones on my travels. Great job!
On March 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm
Oops, forgot to add that I, too, love roaming Asian markets. I’d rather do that than hit a shopping mall any day!
On March 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm
Ca a l’air très bon, et très sain ! J’y planterais bien ma fourchette!
On March 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm
Kabocha…we love this squash…and I always have it at home…I absolutely love the way that you prepared it…looks delicious…will have to try it 🙂
On March 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm
Haven’t heard of freekeh before but sounds very healthy and love your presentation.
On March 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm
Rachana Kothari says:
Now thats something really delicious and healthy… and I loved your presentation:)
On March 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm
Oh, how I love the presentation! Gorgeous! Thank you for stopping by my website and bookmarking one of the recipes. I love your website. Off to explore!
On March 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm
Love the presentation! This is an interesting and delicious dish….:)
On March 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Joie de vivre says:
This is my kind of recipe!
On March 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm
5 Star Foodie says:
Sounds really excellent! I’m looking forward to trying roasted green wheat!
On March 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm
I have had wheat berries, and now I am so curious to know how the freekeh differ in taste? This looks so great!
On March 16, 2010 at 8:21 am
I knew freekeh was healthy, but I had no idea it was 4 times more delicious than brown rice! Wow! It looks like the perfect stuffing for kabocha!
On March 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm
This is gorgeous! I’m going to have to try find the green wheat around here! Thank you for the inspiration.
On March 17, 2010 at 8:40 am
On March 17, 2010 at 11:15 pm
Now this is a full & complete meal that I would love!! The spices you use sound fabulous, especially the cinnamon. xo
On December 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm
Une recette originale et bien dans sa saison estivale….
On May 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm
I can’t wait to make this tomorrow night with some galeux d’eysines squash we have!
On December 3, 2014 at 4:25 am