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Chef D's Freekeh Salad With Apples and Cheddar

Edible flowers such as day lilies and nasturtiums make a lovely garnish for this hearty salad (Eoban Binder/WFIU)

Freekeh is a popular grain in the Middle East, and it's not too difficult to find in the US. It is durum wheat, but it's harvested while the grain is still green and soft. Then it's carefully toasted over an open fire, while still in the husk. That accounts for this grain's distinctive, smoky flavor.

Use cracked (not whole) Freekah in this recipe.

Chef D's Freekeh Salad With Apples and Cheddar


  • 1 cup cracked freekeh
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese (or almond cheddar, to make it vegan)
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tomato (preferable garden fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar of your choice, or lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper to taster


  1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, toast the freekeh in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until freekeh is tender, but still firm (al dente).
  4. Drain and cool.
  5. Combine freekeh with the apple, cheese, scallions and tomato in a medium mixing bowl.
  6. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar, and plenty of salt and black pepper in a liquid measuring cup.
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss gently to combine.
  8. Serve cold or room tempurature, and garnish with edible flowers (if you've got 'em).

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