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Freekeh with Balsamic Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Feta

A riff on a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi with surprising pops of flavor.


  • 1 package freekeh (250 grams) I like the Canaan brand
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 cups assorted mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed (unless the stems are edible), and sliced
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Urfa chili (to taste)
  • Chopped parsley
  • Crumbled Feta


  • Cook the Freekeh according to package instructions. You should monitor the heat when the freekeh is simmering; if it drinks the water too quickly, you may need to add more and lower the heat. Taste for salt and pepper.
  • In a non-stick skillet, heat a splash of olive oil (about 3 tablespoons) until hot. Add the sliced onion and let cook, without salting, until it starts to turn dark brown. Add the garlic and continue cooking, monitoring the pan, so nothing burns. When everything is good and golden, add a pinch of salt, stir around, and add to the pan with the finished freekeh.
  • In that same skillet, heat another 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and add half of your mushrooms, plus a pinch of salt. Allow to sizzle; if no liquid is released, add a splash of water and let the mushrooms simmer until the liquid evaporates. Continue to sear until the mushrooms are a deep brown. Carefully add a splash of Balsamic vinegar -- don't shake the pan too much or the oil might ignite! -- and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Stir the mushrooms into the freekeh and repeat again with the second batch of mushrooms.
  • To finish, stir in Urfa chili to taste (it takes a lot to really taste it). Add chopped parsley and as much Feta as you like. You can eat it right away or let sit and eat later.