Salad of freekeh with pickled red onion, cherries, toasted walnuts and mint

Fragrant spices and fresh herbs add zext to this salad.
Fragrant spices and fresh herbs add zext to this salad. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Freekeh is a nutritious grain made from roasted green wheat, with a nutty and smoky flavour. With high levels of protein, minerals, vitamins and fibre, but low in carbs, freekeh is ideal in salads such as this or, with labna and zaatar, it also goes well with poultry and lamb.


1 red onion

Pinch salt

Juice of one lemon

300g wholegrain freekeh (available from health-food shops, markets and speciality stores)

1 cinnamon stick

100ml extra-virgin olive oil

Flaked salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ bunch watercress, roughly chopped (optional)

½ bunch mint, leaves picked

½ bunch parsley, leaves picked

150g fresh cherries, pitted and halved

60g toasted walnuts tossed in a little oil, seasoned and chopped

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses


1. Finely slice the red onion and sprinkle with salt and a little of the lemon juice.

2. Boil freekeh in plenty of water with the cinnamon stick. Simmer until soft, about 45-60 minutes. Drain well.

3. Dress the warm freekeh with olive oil and the remaining lemon juice and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

4. Once cooled, toss the red onion, watercress, mint, parsley and cherries through the freekeh. Pile on a serving platter, top with the walnuts, drizzle the pomegranate molasses over and serve.