A delicious warm freekeh and quinoa salad full of beautifully contrasting flavours and textures, perfect on its own or as a side…
Talking to my Dad this morning, I was telling him about this amazing freekeh salad I was making for lunch today, his reaction was “but it’s not summer yet”! I think it’s a common, and unfortunate misconception that we can only eat salads in the warmer months. Those who don’t are missing out big time, all those flavours and a perfect opportunity to cram in as many of your 5 a day as you can.
Freekeh is an ancient grain, created from young green grains of wheat, which are harvested at their nutritional peak. It’s packed full of fabulous nutrients too, having four times the amount of fibre as brown rice, full of protein and low GI. I love using it as a base for salads, as aside from having a delicious chewy texture, it keeps me full which in turn stops me snacking unnecessarily. A weakness of mine…
Aswell as freekeh and quinoa, this salad contains some beautifully contrasting flavours and textures that work so well together. We have sweetness in the form of juicy bursting pomegranate seeds, and almost creamy caramelised butternut squash. Feta cheese adds a delicious saltiness while pistachios bring crunch and aromatics to this salad party. A generous helping of fresh herbs and a tangy pomegranate balsamic dressing brings it all nicely together.
Freekeh and quinoa are now both readily available in most supermarkets, and I buy a convenient mix of the two from Waitrose. However, you can mix the two together yourself, or even omit the quinoa and use freekeh only. A quick note about the dressing, I like to use Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar, which I can buy in my local deli but I know this can be hard to source. Regular balsamic will still be delicious, or try using pomegranate molasses as a substitute.
Warm Freekeh & Quinoa Salad
- 250g Butternut Squash, cubed
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 200g Freekeh & Quinoa Mix
- 2 Shallots, finely chopped
- 1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped
- 40g Pistachios
- 100g Pomegranate Seeds
- Handful each of Fresh Parsley & Fresh Mint
- 2 Tbsp Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
- 50g Feta Cheese, cubed
Preheat oven to 180°C Fan.
Toss the butternut squash in ½ a tablespoon of the olive oil, and season well. Roast in the oven until cooked and nicely caramelised, approx. 30 mins.
Meanwhile, Cook the freekeh and quinoa according to packet instructions.
In a large sauté pan, heat ½ a tablespoon of the olive oil and gently cook the shallot and garlic until softened. To the pan, add the cooked freekeh, butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and pistachios, then stir well to combine with the shallot and garlic.
Remove from the heat and stir through the parsley and mint, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl add the pomegranate balsamic vinegar and remaining olive oil, then whisk thoroughly and season.
Add the dressing to the combined ingredients and stir though to coat.
Finally, transfer to a large serving bowl, and scatter with the feta cheese and more pomegranate seeds if desired.