Freekeh, cumin-roast artichoke, grilled corn and pomegranate

  • medium
  • 4
  • 45 minutes

Peter Gordon takes inspiration from Turkey for his freekeh and artichoke salad, pairing the smoky flavour of the grain (caused by the burning of the fields by farmers at the end of summer) with fragrant cumin, golden corn and vibrant pomegranate. The salad makes a filling starter, healthy lunch or light main, and can be served warm or cold – making it incredibly versatile. This recipe is from Peter Gordon's book Savour: Salads for all Seasons.

First published in 2016

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Artichokes

  • 1.5kg globe artichoke, whole (about 4–6 large artichokes)
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 5mm thick slices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp of salt

Cumin roast

Freekah, corn and pomegranate

Method

1
First prepare the artichokes. Pour water into a large saucepan until three-quarters full, add the salt and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the lemon slices and bay leaves then turn off the heat
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 5mm thick slices
  • 2 bay leaves
2
Holding each artichoke by its stalk, remove the thick leaves from the base of the head until only the softer inner leaves remain. Lay the artichoke on a board and cut off and discard the top two-thirds using a sharp, serrated knife (be careful as the head can be quite tough and hard to hold)
3
Remove the stalk near the base of the head and trim off any rough edges. Use a teaspoon or melon-baller to remove the hairy inner choke from the central cavity then place the prepared heart in the pan of hot lemon water while repeating with the remaining artichokes
4
Top up the water in the pan if it doesn't quite cover all the prepared artichokes, then place back on the heat. Bring back to a gentle boil for 5 minutes to par-cook them. Drain and cool, discarding the poaching liquid
5
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
6
Cut each artichoke into quarters and place in a roasting dish with the red onion, garlic, cumin, thyme, lemon juice and olive oil for roasting. Season and toss everything together then roast for about 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through
7
While roasting, fill another pan with water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the freekeh and bring back to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste a few grains to see if they are cooked – they should still have a little bite
  • 200g of freekeh, rinsed and drained
8
Meanwhile, place a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium-high heat until smoking hot. Brush the corn cobs with 1 tsp of olive oil then colour in the pan, turning as they become golden-brown. Set aside to cool slightly, then cut the kernals from the cobs
  • 2 fresh corn on the cob, husks removed
  • 1 tsp olive oil
9
Place the pumpkin seeds in a small pan with the remaining tsp of oil then place over a medium heat. Once the seeds start to pop and turn golden, tip on to a plate and leave to cool
10
Cut the pomegranate in half and remove the seeds from one half, being careful to remove all of the bitter white membrane. Squeeze the juice from the other half and reserve
11
Remove the cooked artichokes from the oven and drain the freekah through a sieve. If serving as a warm salad, assemble straight away, otherwise allow both to cool until ready to serve
12
To serve, toss the freekah with the mint, dill, rocket, pomegranate juice, half the corn kernals, half the pomegranate seeds and salt. Divide between serving plates then lay the roasted artichokes on top along with the onions and oil from the roasting dish
13
Scatter over the remaining corn, pomegranate seeds and the pumpkin seeds to finish

Decades on from the halcyon days of The Sugar Club, the 'King of Fusion', Peter Gordon still reigns supreme on the London dining scene.

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