Freekeh is dried green wheat, harvested while the grains are still soft, then sun-dried. It is very common in the Middle East and North Africa, and is used in the same way as bulgur, couscous, or pearled spelled. It works well as an accompanying pilaf or a salad, in this case with pomegranate seeds, pistachios, mint, and spring onion.

Serves 4-6

200g Freekeh, pearled spelled or pearled barley
1-liter water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, finely chopped
Seeds 1 pomegranate
Handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Handful mint, roughly chopped
1 ½ tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp pistachios, roughly crushed


– Put the Freekeh and water in a pan together with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until just tender.

– Drain and allow to cool.
– When cool, mix together the Freekeh with the spring onions, pomegranate seeds, and herbs, and season with salt and pepper.
– Whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil and the pomegranate molasses with a pinch of salt, and dress the salad with it, mixing gently.
– Serve topped with pistachios.

| From Rick Stein From Venice to Istanbul 2015