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Warm Freekeh Salad with Fig, Feta & Caramelized Onions

5 December 2011

Warm Freekeh Salad with Fig, Feta & Caramelized Onions

Photography by Sarka Babicka


Photography by Sarka Babicka

Warm Freekeh Salad with Fig, Feta & Caramelized Onions
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


I prepared this dish at a recent cooking demonstration during an event hosted by Lebanese Wines at Atelier des Chefsin London. It was incredibly popular and even though I’d made double the quantity required, we actually ran out within the first hour. It’s a lovely salad made from freekeh, which is ideally served warm. The smoky nuttiness of the freekeh is balanced by the sweetness of the figs and the tangy feta. And then there’s the caramelized onions, which I find make everything taste better, and for a nice finish a tart lacing of verjuice. It’s a great dish to serve as a canape, a side dish or a filling mid-week main.
Serves: 4

  • 250g/9oz cleaned, wholegrain green wheat freekeh
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • pinch of allspice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp verjuice
  • 100g/31/2oz/1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 100g/31/2oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • coriander, parsley or mint, to sprinkle
  • sea salt

  1. Put the freekeh in a saucepan with about 600ml/21fl oz/21/2 cups water and season with salt. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the freekeh is cooked to your liking. If the freekeh is too wet, drain off the excess water.
  2. While the freekeh is simmering, heat the sunflower oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, add the onions and fry until golden and caramelized. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel and set aside.
  3. Season the freekeh with the allspice, and add more salt if required. Stir in the olive oil and verjuice and mix well. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  4. Once the freekeh is cooked, divide it between 4 small individual dishes and top with the figs, caramelized onions and feta cheese, then sprinkle with coriander and serve as part of a selection of canapés. Alternatively, serve all the ingredients mixed together in a bowl, with the exception of the feta (it disintegrates easily), which can be crumbled over the top.






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16 thoughts on “Warm Freekeh Salad with Fig, Feta & Caramelized Onions

  1. Oh wow!! This looks and sounds absolutely fantastic, Bethany. 🙂 I’ve never eaten or cooked with freekeh and I’ll be looking for a source here in Australia. 🙂

  2. Here in Los Angeles, CA you can get it at Surfas (8777 National, Culver City). This looks fantastic! I think I’ll try it with Farro because thats what I have on hand.

  3. I found a brand of freekeh online @ and it’s now available at my local Whole Foods. I have type 2 diabetes and freekeh has a low GI plus it gives me most of the fiber I need.

    Thanks for this recipe – I will be trying it this weekend!!

  4. I had had a box of Freekeh in my kitchen cabinet for a few months and decided it was time to use it. This past Sunday I decided to cook up some quail and try this recipe. The Freekeh was wonderful and it went very well with the quail. I did use lemon juice though as I did not have any verjus

  5. My girlfriend loves Feta, Onions and Figs so I’m very happy to have found what looks like a great tasting salad. Have printed it off and plan to make it as a surprise for her tomorrow. Really like your site, I’ve never looked at Lebanese cooking before but love a lot of the ingredients your recipes use so will be giving many more a go. Thanks.

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