Ratatouille Grain Bowls with Freekeh & Pesto
Recipe by Ivy Manning | Photo by Erin Kunkel
Summer veggies only get sweeter with a big hit of smoke from the grill. Pile them on top of freekeh, the toasty whole grain, for a match made in the Mediterranean. Buttery cannellini beans make it a complete meal, but you could add grilled turkey sausage, chicken, or fish for an extra boost of protein.
Shopping tip: Freekeh is a delicious whole grain that’s been called the next quinoa. It’s a type of wheat that’s harvested green and then roasted for a smoky flavor. But if you can’t find or order it in time for dinner, no worries. Substitute brown rice, quinoa, or any other whole grain.
2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup (5 oz/155 g) cracked freekeh
1 cup (7 oz/220 g) canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1½ cups (1½ oz/45 g) fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons hemp hearts
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 small eggplant, cut crosswise into ¼-inch (6-mm) thick rounds
1 zucchini, cut crosswise into ¼-inch (6-mm) thick slices
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thickly sliced
1 large heirloom tomato (8 oz/250 g), cored and thickly sliced
In a small saucepan, combine the broth, herbes de Provence, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, add the freekeh, and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the beans, stir gently to combine, cover, and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and keep covered. Do not drain.
In a mini food processor or blender, combine the basil, hemp hearts, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, the Parmesan, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Blend to form a thick pesto sauce, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, if necessary. Set aside.
Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Place the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and tomato on a baking sheet and brush all over with the oil mixture, concentrating on the eggplant. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Grill the vegetables until tender when pierced with tongs, about 4 minutes per side for the eggplant and peppers, 2 minutes per side for the zucchini and tomatoes.
Roughly chop the tomatoes and cut the eggplant into bite-size pieces. Divide the freekeh mixture between plates. Arrange the tomatoes and vegetables on top. Spoon the pesto over and serve warm.
Makes 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Protein 18 g
Total fat 16 g
Saturated fat 3 g
Carbs 47 g
Fiber 12 g
Total sugar 8 g
Added sugar 0 g
Sodium 233 mg
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.