Griddled Dukkah Asparagus with Freekeh & Mint

I started my new job a few weeks ago, and ever since I’ve been frequenting Pret (which is literally next door to my office) on an almost daily basis – to the point where I began to be recognised by the staff. Something had to give, so this week I finally bit the bullet and got back into making my own packed lunches.

This is a recipe I love at the moment – seasonal, healthy and delicious. The method is split into two sections: ‘the night before’ and ‘in the morning’ – this is just to give everything optimum freshness, but you can do everything the night before if you prefer. There are also notes below on how to make it gluten-free and vegan, so there should be something for everyone!

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Ingredients (serves 1):
– 50g freekeh
– 250ml water or vegetable stock
– 6 asparagus spears
– 1½ tsp dukkah spice mix
– 2 tsp tahini
– ½ lemon, juiced
– 20g mixed salad leaves
– 20g chopped, toasted hazelnuts
– small handful mint leaves, chopped
– 20g feta cheese, crumbled

The night before:
1. Put the freekeh into a small saucepan with the water or vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes; drain any excess water and allow to cool.
2. Trim the ends off the asparagus spears, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1tsp dukkah. Grill on high for 3-4 minutes, until lightly charred, then cut in half (they’ll fit better in a lunch box like this) and allow to cool.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, a twist of salt and pepper. Whisk in enough water to loosen, then transfer to a small container.

In the morning:
4. Mix the freekeh with a handful of salad leaves, the chopped hazelnuts and mint. Top with the asparagus, feta and the remaining ½ tsp dukkah.

Tip: to make this gluten-free, use quinoa instead of freekeh. To make it vegan, skip the feta and make your tahini dressing a little thicker.

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