In the kitchen: freekeh

With warmer days ahead, our meals move from soups and stews to salads and all the good things of summer. Grain based salads are always a good thing to make as a side or a main dish, and perfect for lunch or dinner. I recently bought a bag of freekeh, and while I while I have used bulgur wheat and millet, I haven’t ever cooked these wonderful nutty grains of lightly toasted green wheat before.

There are two types of freekeh – whole or cracked. The cracked variety that I used takes far less cooking time so I would advise looking out for that. As there were no cooking instructions on the packet, I went with Nadia Lim’s ratio of 1 cup of freekeh to 4 cups of water, cooking the grain for just nearly 20 minutes.

For the vegetables, I decided to use the broad beans and sweetcorn that I had in the fridge, and added a grated carrot, spring onion and some left over grilled red capsicum for a bit of colour. I picked some parsley and mint from the garden and added that along with a handful of pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch.

I made a dressing for the salad from lemon juice, olive oil and lots of seasoning, and served it on a bed of watercress topped with some tofu for a bit of protein. To cook the tofu, I started by draining and drying it in a clean tea towel, then chopped it up into small cubes, tossed it with olive oil and soy sauce, and popped it in the oven at 220C for about 20 minutes until crispy.

Verdict: very tasty, though I could have added more mint. Really, with these things it is finding the flavour combinations you like and what is in season.

Thistles and Kiwis is a Wellington, New Zealand based blog written by Barbara, who likes cats, summer, good food and pretends to garden.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on or


  1. I love your food writing and photography. More, more, more! As you know, I’m a reluctant cook — so your posts give me a pinch more courage. (And they’re just lovely to read.) I might try to make this dish!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a spectacular looking grain salad – I am also imagining the tastes … mint, lemon juice … crunchy corn, fresh leaves … yum!


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