Wholegrain Freekeh, Artichoke and Fig Salad with Beetroot ‘Pastrami’

Serves: 4 starters

Chef Top Tip

"This is a delicious winter salad packed with flavour; an ideal starter or double up if you prefer as a main. The beetroot adds a slightly aromatic yet spicy heart-warming flavour to the sala; it's also great in a sandwich if you make spare!"


  • 1 treviso radicchio lettuce, coarsely shredded
  • 2 Belgian endives, leaves separated
  • 150g baby spinach
  • Bunch fresh watercress, stalks trimmed
  • 200g wholegrain freekeh
  • 8 marinated baby artichokes in oil, drained and halved
  • 2 sticks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 fresh ripe figs, halved

For the dressing:

  • Juice of 2 oranges (preferably blood oranges)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 15ml walnut oil
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

For the beetroot ‘pastrami’:

  • 4 raw medium beetroots, peeled
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Mix the pepper, salt, sugar, paprika, cayenne and coriander well together in a bowl.
  2. Roll the peeled beets in the olive oil then pass them through the spices, ensuring they are completely coated in the spices all round.
  3. Place in the fridge to marinade, at least overnight, or up to four days ahead if preferred.
  4. Preheat the oven to 175c
  5. Wrap the marinated beets in foil, place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 1-1½ hours or until they are tender; remove and allow to go cold.
  6. When cold slice thinly with a sharp knife, or for best results, a Japanese mandolin.
  7. Bring the freekeh to boil in 600ml of water then simmer gently for about 45 minutes until tender, drain well in a colander and leave to go cold.
  8. For the dressing, whisk together the orange juice, mustard and both oils; season to taste and add the toasted walnuts.
  9. Place the lettuce, endive, celery, artichokes and cooked freekeh in a bowl along with the figs; pour over the dressing, toss gently together and season to taste.
  10. Dress on four plates, garnish with the sliced beetroot pastrami to one side and serve.

All products marked in bold are available to purchase through Vegetarian Express.