Wulf's Webden

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This weekend’s special ingredient was freekeh, a type of wheat grain often used in Levantine and North African cookery. We bought a packet back from my mum’s on a recent visit, which she had picked up somewhere and not found a use for. On the other hand, we had a recipe we’d tried before but we had to use the suggested substitute of bulgur wheat on our first run.

Bulgar wheat (cracked wholegrain wheat) wasn’t a bad call in terms of the flavour. The other thing it reminded me of, particularly in appearance and mouthfeel is pearl barley. Perhaps that’s not surprising because, as I understand it, both freekeh and pearl barley are grains processed to remove the outer hull (shell). Freekeh uses the durum variety of wheat. Pearl barley uses barley. Both work well to add texture and thickening that turns a soup into more of a stew.

I’ll certainly pick up more freekeh if I come across it and, meanwhile, perhaps we’ll try the recipe with pearl barley too.

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