I woke up this morning, threw on Gib’s old blue pull over, walked downstairs to find my shoes in the kitchen, turned the coffee pot on and grabbed Tito’s harness for his walk. The air smelled crisp, there was a crunch under my feet, and all of a sudden I realized we were standing at the beginning of fall.
This season makes me feel at home. Probably because I’m an adult stuck in a middle schooler’s body, in all its unfortunate glory.
What I love the most about this time of year: the start of a new school year (oh how I wish I could be starting school again!), the farmers at the farmer’s market swap out their strawberries and peaches and tomatoes for apples and pears and pumpkins, the sweater weather, the leaves changing into the warmest tones, and THANKSGIVING. All of those things come together into this magical combination of pure, unadulterated bliss that I wish I could bottle into a mason jar and nestle on the shelf in between my homemade peach jam and my preserved lemons.
According to the internet, the official first day of fall isn’t actually until September 22nd. Until then we’re in a state of limbo, finishing up the last of summer’s tomatoes and eggplants while welcoming in the first batch of acorn squash and pears. And that’s where this Asparagus and Peach Freekeh Salad comes in.
Truthfully it probably resembles more of a tabouli then anything, but I feel like I took too many liberties with this salad to be able to actually call it a tabouli. Packed with freekeh (which is probably the most fun you can have with an ancient grain ever), peaches, asparagus, red onion, feta, and so much parsley you’ll think you died and went to chopped herb heaven. It’s dreamy, and it’s getting served alongside grilled sweet potatoes and pomegranate glazed wings today!
ASPARAGUS AND PEACH FREEKEH SALAD
(serves 6-8 as a side)
for the salad:
1 cup freekeh
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced (~2 cups)
1 large peach, pitted and small diced (~1 cup)
1 small red onion, small dice (~1/2 cup)
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 cup parsley leaves, chopped
for the dressing:
1/4 cup lemon juice (~2 lemons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Start by prepping your freekeh according to package directions. I brought the water to a boil, added the salt and freekeh, lowered the heat to low, covered and simmered for 20 minutes. Then I turned the heat off and let it sit, covered, for another 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and letting cool to room temp.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled freekeh, asparagus, peach, onion, feta and parsley.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss together and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy!