Freekeh tabbouleh

This freekeh tabbouleh makes a tasty change from regular bulgur wheat tabbouleh – it has a more nutty flavour, more nutrition and a nice chewiness.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Lunch, Snacks and Sides, Soups and Salad
Servings 6 as a side
Dairy Free


  • 1 cup cracked freekeh sometimes called farik
  • cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon finely grated zest and juice
  • extra virgin olive oil good drizzle
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion (or ½ medium) finely diced
  • 3-4 tomatoes seeds removed, finely diced
  • ½ large telegraph cucumber seeds removed, finely diced
  • 2 cups seedless grapes halved (optional)
  • 6-8 medjool dates pitted, chopped
  • 75 g feta omit for dairy-free
  • ¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts


  • Rinse freekeh, drain and place in a pot with water and salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain well then rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly to remove any excess liquid.
  • Toss cooled, cooked freekeh with lemon zest and juice, oil, parsley, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, grapes (if using) and dates. Crumble over feta and scatter with toasted pine nuts.
  • Serve with grilled chicken or lamb, flatbreads and hummus for a delicious Middle Eastern meal.


I like to serve this freekeh tabbouleh as part of a large spread when entertaining. It goes great with Middle Eastern-inspired food like my Alinazik (Smoky Eggplant Puree with Spiced Lamb and Yoghurt).
Freekeh is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. This whole grain is packed with fibre and essential nutrients such as selenium, potassium and magnesium and is an excellent source of vegetarian protein.
How do I cook it?
Using the absorption method, cracked freekeh takes around 15-20 minutes to cook, using a ratio of 2½ cups water/stock: 1 cup freekeh. When liquid is absorbed, it’s ready. Uncracked freekeh takes longer, around 45-50 minutes. You can also use a boiling method like this recipe does
Where do I buy it?
Try specialty food stores such as Farro Fresh or your local organic grocer.
Omit feta to make this salad dairy-free/vegan.
This salad comes from my ancient grains story in the April/May issue of NADIA magazine.