Warm Freekeh Salad with Raisins and Kale

I consider myself somewhat of a professional day dreamer. I’ve got that hopeful-out-the-window gaze down. My mind can take me from conference calls and erratic mothers to Cuba in the early 50’s with ease. The ice is watering down my rum, the air is sticky and smells of ripe mangos dripping heavy with syrupy juice. I am an incredibly good dancer (even in these heels) and my grandma’s sassy - “Rhiana, really, you shouldn’t ever wear lipstick – your cupid’s bow is much too sharp and you look like a villain queen” can stop this candy apple pout.

Hey you, hot stuff, get your practicality out of my daydreams! I know it’s 2012 and my expired passport won’t get me into Cuba. Just samba with me. Thank you.
Most commonly my day dreams are exotic escapades, presents I would buy everyone after I win the jackpot, chunky puppies, whirlwind romances or pistachio Vespas. But often enough, usually when the mornings are misty and distinctly gray, I day dream of my future. All roads lead to the same place and all life’s questions have the same answer. The visions of my bed and breakfast are so real, they have upgraded from vivid to lucid.

That same gray morning, I am creeping barefoot down creaky stairs to the kitchen. I roll up thick sleeves and start thinly slicing onions. What am I making? There is a small window over the sink, it needs to be dusted, a steaming cup of tea on the ledge and fog in thin fingers between the trees.
This is that type of dish that is perfect for daydreaming. Not only because of the mélange of flavors and textures, but because it is as delicious warm as it is hot or chilled. You can dish yourself steaming spoonfuls, let the dressing’s tanginess or the sweet plumpness of the raisins ignite your imagination. While your mind wanders your dish slowly adjusts its temperature for a series of perfect bites.

½ Red Onion (Chopped)
3 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
½ Cup Golden Raisins
½ Cup Champagne Vinegar
(Plus an extra splash to plump raisins)
¼ Cup Olive Oil
1 TB Mustard
1 TS Cumin
Salt and Pepper

1 Cup French Green Lentils (Cooked)
1 Cup Freekeh (Cooked)
1 Bunch Kale (Confetti Chopped)
¼ Cup Pinenuts (Toasted)

Start by thinly slicing the onion and mincing the garlic. Toss with the other dressing ingredients and let the flavors come together.   

Splash the raisins with a little vinegar and set aside to plump. Add lentils and freekeh to boiling water and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

Strain and toss in the dressing. Wilt the chopped kale in a teeny bit of olive oil and add to the dressed grains.

Toast pinenuts in a dry skillet. Toss everything until it is a hot mess. Enjoy.

Yes, I put an egg on it…

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