Custom Search
CivicLifeSportsSchoolsBusinessFoodOur HomesLetters/OpinionsCalendar

Published July 1st, 2015
A French-Inspired Dish with Freekeh and Snap Pea Puree
Freekeh Risotto with Fresh Snap Pea-Asparagus Puree Photo Susie Iventosch

My mom and I just returned from a trip to France to visit my brother who lives on the island of Corsica. After a few days in Paris, we ventured down to a delightful little jewel of a town in Provence called L'Isle sur-la-Sorgue. The town truly is situated on an island in the middle of the river, and we stayed at an inn, La Prevote, which also spans a small portion of the river, with a little waterway right under the bar! It was formerly a convent, and therefore situated directly adjacent to the Catholic church.
The owners completely renovated the crumbling old convent 12 years ago, in keeping the original style, but with the modernities of electricity and running water. It was beautiful and charming. As with many of the French inns, the restaurant is a gastronomic adventure and this meal did not disappoint.
The first dish I selected was Freekeh risotto with fresh asparagus and snap pea puree. It was so interesting, garden-fresh and delicious that I knew it would be the next food column, if only I could figure out how to make it! The recipe was not forthcoming, but this dish closely resembles theirs. My main course was a whimsical stack of lamb "done two ways," with eggplant, but this shall have to wait for another column.
Freekeh is a high-fiber whole grain, made from green wheat, and roasted to a slightly smoky flavor. It is used in salads, pilafs or even risotto such as this, and can be found in the specialty rice section of the grocery store. I used Bob's Red Mill cracked Freekeh for this recipe.
What made this dish especially timely is that we also have fresh snap peas growing in our vegetable garden, which are so sweet and crisp, and usually never even make it to the kitchen from the garden because they are so irresistible. But do save some, as they are perfect in this recipe.
Freekeh Risotto with Fresh Snap Pea-Asparagus Puree


1 cup cracked Freekeh
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (divided: 2 cups and 1/2 cup)
2 asparagus stalks, sliced into 1/8-inch slices on the angle (reserve a few slices for garnish)
2 asparagus stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces for puree
8 ounces snap peas, half sliced into 1/8-inch slices and the rest cut in half or quarters for the puree. Set aside several of the peas inside for garnish.
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cream or half and half
Salt and white pepper, to taste


In a skillet, heat olive oil and cook onions with sliced snap peas and asparagus, over medium-high heat until onions are translucent, but veggies are al dente. Add Freekeh and cook for another few minutes, tossing all together. Add 1 cup of the broth and cook until absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add second cup of broth and cook until absorbed, again stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Meanwhile, put the remaining asparagus chunks into a food processor along with the cut up snap peas and puree until very fine. Add a half cup of the chicken broth and two tablespoons cream and continue to puree until as smooth as possible. Adjust thickness by adding a little more broth at a time, if you think it's too thick.

Season with sea salt and white pepper. Transfer puree to a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat until just heated through.

Serve Freekeh on a plate, and drizzle puree over the top and sides. Garnish with thin slices of raw asparagus and raw snap peas. In order to make the Freekeh look molded, I just packed it into small ramekins and then inverted onto plates.


print story

Before you print this article, please remember that it will remain in our archive for you to visit anytime.
download pdf
(use the pdf document for best printing results!)
Send your comment to:
Reach the reporter at:

This article was pulished on Page B10:

Quick Links for LamorindaWeekly.com
send artwork to:
Classified ads
Lamorinda Service Directory
About us and How to Contact us
Letter to the Editor
Send stories or ideas to:
Send sports stories and photos to:
Subscribe to receive a delivered or mailed copy
Subscribe to receive storylinks by email
Our Homes

Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA