Plate Expectations: Spiced Tunisian freekah salad

Plate Expectations: Spiced Tunisian freekah salad

Freekah is one of many new grains readily available, made from green wheat that is then roasted

Denise Phillips is a Jewish cook and author

Freekah, is one of many new grains readily available. It is a cereal food made from green wheat that is then roasted.

Over Succot we celebrate the harvest festival and dishes using a variety of grains, the perfect way to acknowledge the agriculture bounty – wheat, barley, oats, rice, corn, millet, quinoa and rye.

Freekah is in fact an ancient Arabian ingredient and is also popular in North African and surrounding countries

Preparation time: 30 mins  Cooking time: 30 mins Serves 4


15ml extra-virgin olive oil

200g Freekeh

500g courgettes (about 2-3 medium), quartered lengthwise

1 teaspoon cumin seed

20ml extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

250g package halloumi cheese, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

30ml white wine vinegar

15ml extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove – peeled and finely chopped

4 firm ripe apricots, pitted and thinly sliced

4 spring onions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only

55g roughly chopped toasted pistachios

4 tablespoons -finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste


1 In a large saucepan, warm 15ml (1 tablespoon)  olive oil over medium-high heat.

2 Add the freekeh and stir constantly until the grains are coated with the olive oil and lightly toasted, about 4 minutes.

3 Add 850ml water and ½ teaspoon salt to the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium.

4 Simmer covered until the water is level with the freekeh – about 20 minutes

5 Transfer the freekeh to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.

6 Preheat the grill.

7 Brush the courgettes with olive oil and sprinkle with the cumin seed, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Brush the halloumi generously with olive oil.

8 Grill or griddle the courgettes and halloumi until the courgette is browned on all sides and tender, turning occasionally, and the halloumi is browned on both sides, turning once, about 8 minutes.

9 Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.

10 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk 15ml (1 tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil with the vinegar and    garlic.

11 Add the dressing, apricots, spring onions, pistachios and parsley to the freekeh.

12 Cut the courgette and halloumi into 1 cm pieces and add to the salad.


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