Freekeh w/ Brussels Sprouts & Pomegranate

Ingredients
1/2 cup Wholegrain Freekeh
1 lb Brussels sprouts, outer leaves peeled, stemmed and halved if large
4 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
2 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1/2 medium lemon
1/4-1/3 cup dried cranberries
Arils of 1/2 large pomegranate
1/4-1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions
On stove top in a small saucepan, place 1/2 cup of Freekehlicious and 1 1/2 cups of water or broth and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining water. Yields 1 1/2 cups. This step can be made a few days ahead and the Freekeh can be kept refrigerated in an air tight container.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Toss 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt with the Brussels sprouts, spread on a parchment papered cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes while turning once with a spatula at the 15 minute mark. If you wish the Brussels sprouts to be more charred, roast for 5-10 minutes longer with another turning in between. Set aside, or this step can be made a day ahead and the oven roasted Brussels sprouts can be kept refrigerated in an air tight container overnight.

The day of: On low/medium heat add 2 tablespoons oil into a large sauté pan. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Do not caramelize onions. Add the diced apple and lemon juice to the onions and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer until the apples are soft but not mushy. Add the honey, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground black pepper and continue sautéing for a couple of minutes longer.

If the Freekeh and Brussels Sprouts were made ahead and refrigerated, add them to the pan to reheat with the onions and apples for a few minutes. They only need to be warm, not super hot. Take off the heat and add the dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds and parsley. Mix and adjust for salt and black pepper and serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook's note: I showed you make ahead prep steps, but you can make the entire salad a couple days ahead and keep refrigerated in an air tight container. Re-heat in a pan for a few minutes on low/medium heat before serving. Garnish with some more fresh parsley leaves the day of. The dish can be good up to five days refrigerated.

Shulie Madnick is a food and travel writer, photographer and a recipe developer. Her recipes and photos were published in The Washington Post Food Section among other publications.