OK, file this under “I don’t need to try that again“.
Not this dish. Chicory greens.
I am warning you: evil. Turns out not all greens are as lovely as spinach, Swiss chard and kale. Chicory leaves look like dandelion greens and they (likely) also taste like them: BITTER! They are cousins, after all.
This dish had such promise. I used freekeh, which is young cracked wheat with beautiful smoky undertones, and chickpeas and spiced it with paprika, cumin and pomegranate molasses. Thyme and lemon, too. Sounds beautiful but thwarted by the bitter greens. The original recipe called for ground lamb (which I obviously omitted) but I doubt that would overcome its bitterness. Next time, I’d suggest using a milder green like Swiss chard or kale. Although, the leftovers were not as vile.. either that, or I slowly became accustomed to it.
I was going to say that, in retrospect, this was obviously not meant for me since I am a pitta (which shuns bitter foods). Although, turns out the joke’s on me: chicory greens are good for pitta. I guess I must take after vata in this regard. Or maybe this is all messed up since it isn’t an Ayurvedic recipe. ;)
So, tell me, do you like bitter greens? If so, how do you enjoy eating them? If I ever try them again, I’ll go with this dish for Moroccan Braised Mustard Greens, which I’ve tried and enjoyed. Maybe I just had a particularly bitter bunch?
Turkish Freekeh Pilaf with Chickpeas and Wild Greens
Adapted from Turquoise
1 cup dry freekeh, cleaned and rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile pepper
1/2 tsp smoked bittersweet paprika
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
zest from 1 lemon
sprigs of thyme
14-oz can chopped tomato
3.5 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch of chicory greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped (although I’d recommend something sweeter like Swiss chard next time)
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
juice from 1/2 lemon
1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, chile flakes and spices and saute for 5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and saute for 1 minute more.
2. Stir in the freekeh, lemon zest, thyme, tomatoes and broth and season to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, until the freekeh is tender. Stir in the chicory and chickpeas and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve warm.