Chefs' Recipes

Grain salad with tahini, grilled spring onion and baharat dressing

Buckwheat, barley and baharat. It's combination that will awaken your tastebuds.

By Charlie Carrington
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 35 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 6
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"This dish is textural and the addition of baharat may be a bit full-on, but persist and work with the spice mix," says Charlie Carrington of Colours Kitchen. "Once your palate is accustomed to it, you'll find ways to use it."


  • 200 gm buckwheat, rinsed
  • 100 gm pearl barley
  • 2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 100 ml white vinegar
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 1 bunch spring onions, peeled, green tops of 1-2 spring onions thinly sliced, placed in iced water (5 minutes) and drained
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp baharat spice mixture (see note)
  • 100 gm tahini
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • 50 gm currants
  • 50 gm dried apricot, chopped
  • 80 gm roasted sesame seeds


  • 1
    Place buckwheat, barley and 1 litre cold water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until tender (25 minutes). Drain well and cool.
  • 2
    Add red onion to a heatproof bowl. Bring vinegar, sugar and 100ml water to the boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour vinegar mixture over onion, cover and stand until cooled and pink (20 minutes).
  • 3
    Preheat a cast-iron char-grill pan or barbecue over high heat. Grill white parts of the spring onion, turning occasionally until charred (4-5 minutes). While hot, combine with oil, baharat, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth (it should look like a black mayonnaise).
  • 4
    Combine buckwheat and barley with currants, apricot and tahini mixture in a bowl. Season well. Transfer to serving plate and top with pickled onion, sliced spring onion and sesame seeds to serve.


Baharat is a spice blend available from Middle Eastern grocers and
Drink suggestion: A peppery shiraz, such as 2013 Alain Graillot Syrocco Syrah, from Morocco. Drink suggestion by Charlie Carrington & Anna Riou-lebret.