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Recipe Collection

Freekeh Salad

Ashley Lima — 2024

The charred green wheat, freekeh, has such a distinctive flavour. Smoky and evocative of the earth it stems from, it is a superb grain to cook with. Traditionally used in lieu of rice, freekeh has nourished generations of Palestinians since 2000 BC. This simple salad is one of many ways to celebrate freekeh.

Season: Spring/Summer
Serves: 4

Photography: Ashley Lima


90ml/6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
200g freekeh, rinsed and any stones removed
1 litre water
400g carrots with tops, carrots chopped, tops finely chopped

500g spring greens, such as young cabbage, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 spring onions, finely chopped

30g mint leaves, coarsely chopped
30g parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tsp ground sumac

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the freekeh, sauté it for 30 seconds, then add the water and ½ teaspoon salt.

  2. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and leave to cook for 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, keep covered, and set aside for 20 minutes.

  3. Uncover and let the freekeh cool until you are ready to assemble the salad. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped carrots and saut. until they are slightly charred, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  4. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the spring greens and a sprinkle of salt, and cook until the greens are wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and the lemon juice. Mix well.

  6. Fluff the cold freekeh with a fork. Add the spring onions, cooked carrots, wilted greens, and the chopped mint and parsley. Fold in the dressing.

  7. Transfer to a serving bowl, use the carrot tops as a garnish, and sprinkle the sumac on last.

Read more: Bethlehem

Bethlehem is a celebration of Palestine — its food, its culture and its people. Fadi Kattan tells the story of his homeland through recipes and vignettes of the people that make it what it is, evoking the colours, smells, tastes and warmth of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The book champions the artisans of Palestine — the olive oil makers and millers of wheat — who amidst unrest and dehumanisation, remind us that there is a culture that must not be forgotten.

Bethlehem by Fadi Kattan (Hardie Grant, £28), Photography by Ashley Lima.

— about the author

Franco-Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan has made championing and sharing the joys of Palestinian cuisine his raison d’être. Having run his Bethelem based restaurant Fawda since 2016, Fadi opened Akub in London in 2023. His first cookbook, Bethlehem, is an ode to his land and his people, championing the producers, artisans and cuisine of one of the world’s richest cultures. He demonstrates so clearly how food is a humanising, preserving force, one that can keep knowledge, tradition and flavour alive.

@fadi.f.kattan | 

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