Freekeh Sweet and Spicy Warm Salad

By Laura Agar Wilson From the book Grains as Mains
Freekeh Sweet and Spicy Warm Salad

This colourful salad combines sweet roasted squash and sticky dates with a fragrant and spiced freekeh.

For how many? Serves 4


  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, deseeded and cut into 2cm (3⁄4in) cubes
  • 200g cracked freekeh
  • 1 small head radicchio, roughly chopped
  • 8 dried pitted dates, about 40g in total, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • For the dressing:
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/ Gas 6). Place the cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and oil in a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the butternut squash in a baking tray, pour the mixture over, and toss to coat. Bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Meanwhile, rinse the freekeh under running water and place in a large saucepan. Cover with 1 litre (13⁄4 pints) of water and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until almost all the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, drain any remaining water, and leave to cool slightly. 

For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste and mix to combine. Place the radicchio and dates in a large serving dish. Add the squash and freekeh and toss lightly to mix. Then pour over the dressing, season to taste, and toss until well combined. Serve warm garnished with parsley.

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