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Crispy Carrot Ribbon Salad, with Fried Lemon and Herby Freekeh

Serves 4
Takes 45 minutes 
This is an unusual, fresh, Springtimey dish that is packed with lovely flavours and textures. It makes an excellent packed lunch, so the recipe is for 4 people 

Freekeh is durum wheat that has been harvested whilst still green and roasted on an open fire, so that it has an amazing nutty, slightly smoky taste. Its unique flavour means that there isn’t really a substitute. It isn’t easy to get hold of in shops, but Zaytoun, who support Palestinian farmers, sell it online

The dried lemon powder is whole dried lemons (available from Middle Eastern stores – we head to the Edgeware Road if London to get ours, but they are available on line), which have been blitzed in a blender to make as fine a powder as possible. Don’t worry if you can’t get hold of it, the dish is still delicious. You will probably only need half of the fried lemons. We keep any left over in a jar, covered with olive oil – it makes a great dressing for pasta or salads

175g freekeh
4 medium carrots
extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1 tsp dried lemon powder or zest of half a lemon (optional)
1 unwaxed lemon + 2 tbsp lemon juice
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
180g dark leaves such as spinach or tat soi

  • Pre heat the oven to 180C. Line a large baking tray with baking or silicone paper. 
  • Put the freekeh in a saucepan with plenty of water. Add some salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, drain, season and put in a large bowl. Set aside to cool for a few minutes 
  • Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, cut the carrots into long thin ribbons. Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl along with either the lemon powder or the lemon zest. Add the carrot ribbons and toss gently to coat evenly with oily mixture. Transfer them into the prepared baking tray, arranging them evenly so they are all on one plane. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. They should be slightly crispy 
  • Heat a frying pan on a high heat, and thinly slice the unwaxed lemon, picking out and discarding any pips. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the lemons until they are burnished and sticky. Once the lemons are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them into small (0.5 cm) pieces 
  • Stir the herbs into the freekeh, add half of the fried lemon, celery, and 2 tablespoons of either avocado or olive oil, and mix well. Check the seasoning and whether you need more fried lemons 
  • Tear up the green leaves, and put on a plate. Add some of the freekeh mixture, and top with the carrot ribbons, and serve