We're using the ancient wholegrain from the Middle East, freekeh, as the nutty and soft base to carry all the delicious flavours of roasted veggies and honey-coated haloumi. Bring the bowl together with a creamy pesto dressing and crunchy flaked almonds. Dinner's served!
Always refer to the product label for the most accurate ingredient and allergen information.
baby spinach leaves
creamy pesto dressing(ContainsMilk, Tree Nuts, Egg)
water (for the freekeh)
water (for the dressing)
Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan-forced. Finely chop the garlic. Rinse the freekeh. In a medium saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the freekeh and garlic and toast until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the water (for the freekeh) and the crumbled vegetable stock (1 cube for 2 people / 2 cubes for 4 people). Bring to the boil then cook over a medium-high heat until tender, 30-35 minutes. Drain and return to the saucepan.
TIP: Add a splash of water if the freekeh looks dry. TIP: The freekeh is ready when it has softened but still retains some bite.
While the freekeh is cooking, cut the tomato into 2cm wedges. Cut the carrot (unpeeled) into 1cm half-moons. Cut the beetroot into 1cm cubes. Place the veggies on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast until tender, 20-25 minutes.
While the veggies are roasting, roughly chop the baby spinach leaves. Zest the lemon to get a generous pinch, then cut into wedges. Cut the haloumi into 1cm-thick slices. Pick the thyme leaves. In a small bowl, combine the creamy pesto dressing, lemon zest and water (for the dressing).
TIP: Hold each thyme sprig at the top, then gently run your fingers down to remove the leaves. If the stems are very soft, you can just chop them instead.
Heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pepitas and toast until golden, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Return the frying pan to medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook the haloumi until golden brown, 2 minutes each side. Reduce the heat to medium and add the honey and thyme. Cook, turning the haloumi, until fragrant, 1 minute.
When the freekeh is done, add the spinach, roast veggies and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the roast veggie freekeh between bowls. Top with the honey-thyme haloumi. Drizzle over the creamy pesto dressing. Garnish with pepitas.