char-grilled fennel, freekeh and labne salad

  • 4 bulbs baby fennel (520g/1 lb 2 oz), trimmed and halved
  • 480g (1 lb) cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) (about 8 stalks), stems removed
  • extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 2½ cups (400g/14 oz) cooked freekeh
  • 1 cup (24g/¾ oz) flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ⅓ cup (130g/4½ oz) dried cranberries or raisins 
  • ½ cup (80g/2¾ oz) almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup (60ml/2 fl oz) pomegranate molasses or caramelised balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
  • labne, to serve
  • extra virgin olive oil, extra, to serve
  1. Heat a char-grill pan or barbecue over medium-high heat. Brush the fennel and cavolo nero lightly with oil. Cook the fennel for 4–5 minutes each side or until charred and slightly softened. Set aside and keep warm. Cook the cavolo nero for 1 minute each side or until crisp.
  2. Place the freekeh, parsley, cranberries, almonds and pomegranate molasses in a large bowl and toss to combine. 
  3. Divide the freekeh salad, fennel and cavolo nero between serving bowls. Sprinkle with salt and top with labne and a little extra oil to serve. Serves 4

COOK’S NOTE
+ One of the easiest meals to create, this grain salad takes minimal prep but is bursting with sweet-savoury goodness. 

+ You can swap feta for the labne if you like, and your favourite cooked grain (like brown rice or burghul) for the freekeh.

Photography: Con Poulos

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