The Washington Post

Freekeh With Shiitake Mushrooms, Leeks and Snap Peas

Freekeh With Shiitake Mushrooms, Leeks and Snap Peas 4.000

Rey Lopez for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Oct 3, 2021

This grain salad is full of interesting textures: chewy freekeh, crunchy snap peas and slightly leathery mushrooms. If you haven’t encountered freekeh, it’s cracked green wheat that has been smoked, giving the grain a subtle woodsy flavor. If you can’t find it, feel free to substitute another chewy grain, such as barley, farro or brown rice; just follow the package directions for cooking them.

Total time: 30 mins

Make Ahead: The freekeh, snap peas and leek-mushroom mixture can each be cooked separately and refrigerated for up to 2 days before making the salad.

Storage Notes: The salad can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Where to Buy: Freekeh can be found in some well-stocked grocery and natural-foods stores, and in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean markets.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1 cup (5 ounces) freekeh
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt or table salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups (6 ounces) sugar snap peas (may substitute snow peas or green beans)
  • 1 small leek (8 ounces), white and light green parts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups (5 ounces) fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (2 ounces) baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste


In a medium dry saucepan over medium heat, toast the freekeh, tossing, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the freekeh is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain any excess water and transfer the freekeh to a large salad bowl.

While the freekeh is cooking, remove the tough string that runs along the side of each sugar snap pea. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, add 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and blanch the snap peas until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Drain immediately and let cool completely. Cut each pea into thirds at an angle and add to the freekeh in the bowl.

Cut the leek in half lengthwise and slice into thin half-moons. Put the slices in a bowl and cover with cold water to remove any dirt. Using a slotted spoon or spider, lift the leeks out of the water and drain. If they are still gritty, repeat the process.

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the cleaned leeks and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their liquid, darken and soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the salad bowl and let cool.

Roughly chop the spinach and add it to the salad bowl.

Pour the lemon juice into a small bowl. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil in a thin, steady stream while whisking vigorously. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to combine. Taste, and season with more salt and/or lemon juice, if needed. Serve at room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Mother Grains” by Roxana Jullapat (W.W. Norton, 2021).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (2)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (1 1/2 cups): 442

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 29g 45%

Saturated Fat: 4g 20%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 763mg 32%

Total Carbohydrates: 41g 14%

Dietary Fiber: 7g 28%

Sugar: 6g

Protein: 11g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle