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Photography By : Katie Wilson
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Green Freekeh Salad with Smoked Almonds & Pomegranate Seeds

Dishes Created By

Having travelled and worked extensively all across the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia, what I enjoyed the most was the sharing of food. The Middle East has a fantastic food sharing culture. The tradition of sharing a meal is an essential part of spending quality time with the family - one should never eat alone, I certainly never did. Freekeh is very versatile, and having made 100kg of this once at the Calais camps, it is very dear to me, and it reminds a lot of the Syrian refugees of home. I add whatever I have in the fridge, you can add roasted vegetables, black olives and any kind of nut or herbs, mine keeps evolving to whatever we have in our kitchen.

  • The Hampstead Kitchen
  • Serves Six


For the salad

  • 500g freekeh (buy online or from any Middle Eastern store)
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ bunch dill
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and tossed in a pan with smoked cumin and paprika
  • Juice of ½ a lemon, more to taste if you prefer
  • 1 pinch cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pureed (optional)
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • A scattering of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded
  • A handful of smoked almonds, coarsely cut

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat a medium-sized heavy saucepan over a medium heat and add the freekeh. Toast in the dry pan, shaking or stirring for 2-3 minutes until the freekeh becomes fragrant.
  2. Add the freekeh to a pan of boiling water, the grain should be whole but soft when pressed with your fingers. Boil for around 15-20 minutes.
  3. Drain the freekeh and run under a cold tap to stop it cooking and becoming mushy.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the freekeh with the chopped herbs, spring onions and chickpeas, then toss together.
  5. In another bowl, lightly whisk together lemon juice, cumin, garlic, salt and olive oil, then toss with the salad.
  6. Scatter the pomegranate seeds, almonds and pumpkins seeds on the top, then give it one last toss and it’s ready.
  7. Serve right away or let sit for up to 1 hour. It will keep for 3 or 4 days in the fridge.
  8. Can be served with roast chicken, lamb or fresh bread, or simply on its own as a salad.

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