Another opportunity for me to sing the praises of humble old buckwheat. Buckwheat also goes by the name of kasha, and you may have seen it called sarrasin in France (used often in galettes) or grano saraceno in Italy – a useful tip for summer travel oui? Its also very popular in Asian cuisine but in the form of noodles rather than as the plain groats. I’m eating more of it in real life than this blog would lead you to believe so thought I’d share with you another of my recent favourite recipes.
In today’s recipe I am using buckwheat in a cold marinated salad where a larger grain (or pseudograin, since buckwheat isn’t technically a grain) works best. In the salad the buckwheat groats retain their shape as individual grains and are similar in size to Israeli/giant cous cous. A smaller grain such as quinoa would of course work here too, but may become more mushy as the grains are much smaller and softer.
I find the combination of olive, capers, lemon and parsley irresistible. Usually found in a rich tapenade, to me it screams summer and in this recipe is used to tie buckwheat and cauliflower together to great affect. I wonder who the first chef to roast a cauliflower and plonk it in a salad was? Each time I enjoy the joys of scorched, sweet florets I am delighted I no longer have to endure this valuable crucifer as a plainly steamed culinary bleugh.
I actually devised this recipe for a hormone friendly nutrition and cooking demo evening held back in July with top nutritionist Nicki Williams – why? Cauliflower! This really a roasted cauliflower salad with just a bit of buckwheat to stretch it out and add some good carbs. As with all cruciferous vegetables cauliflower is a top ingredient for helping to balance hormones due to its ability to help detoxify excess oestrogen (check out Nicki’s other top ingredients here).
Nicki and I will be holding another evening on 17th September, where I shall be demoing a new recipe (as well as two others) inspired by the start of early Autumn’s fantastic fresh produce, so do come along. You can book here.
- 2 cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
- Tbs olive oil
- pinch salt
- 150g raw buckwheat groats, rinsed
- 1 cucumber, cored and chopped into small pieces
- 20 or so black olives sliced
- 2 Tbs capers
- 2 Tbs sultanas (optional)
- 1 quantity of herby dressing (see below)
- 2 Tbs toasted pumpkin seeds
- Lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic
- 40g fresh parsley
- 90mls olive oil
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C. to roast your cauliflower.
- Toss cauliflower in olive oil and salt, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until crispy and charred. Cool and set aside
- Meanwhile cook your buckwheat – we use the pasta method. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil, tip in the buckwheat, and simmer for 15 minutes, until al dente. Drain, rinse and leave to cool.
- Next make up your dressing. In a mini food processor blitz the garlic till finely chopped, then add the parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Blitz until you have a chunky pourable paste.
- Toss the cooked cauliflower with the buckwheat, cucumber, olives, capers, sultanas, then stir through the dressing. Top with toasted seeds and some lemon zest for extra zing.
Not sure what else you can do with buckwheat? As well as being great in salads it works fabulously as a porridge for breakfast. Here are some ideas;
- Sweet Potato & Buckwheat Brunch Bowl with Avocado Cream from me
- Banana, Date & Almond Buckwheat Porridge from Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen
- Spiced Buckwheat & Oat Porridge with Coconut & Carrot from Fuss Free Flavours
- Peach Buckwheat Porridge from Little Sunny Kitchen
- Sumac Roasted Peppers with Kasha Buckwheat Salad from Veggie Desserts
- Roasted Buckwheat (Kasha) with Browned Onions & Mushrooms from Coffee & Vanilla
Any top ideas you’d like to share?