You'd think as a plant-based food blogger and health coach I'd be familiar with cooking buckwheat - but you'd be wrong!
It's only become a staple in my kitchen recently. I cooked it once several years ago and it became a lumpy, clumpy mess that completely turned me off. But in the back of my head I knew I just needed to experiment with cooking methods and give it another shot.
And I'm so glad I did.
Buckwheat is a gluten-free pseudo-grain (like quinoa) and has a slightly toothsome, nutty flavor. If you aren't a fan of quinoa, I encourage you to give buckwheat a try. You can find it in most bulk food sections. I used the toasted kasha version here.
With spring weather finally here, I wanted to make a big grain salad. I love tabbouleh and figured buckwheat would be a fun alternative grain. Then I mixed it with every the spring flavors I could think of - thinly sliced radish, sweet snap peas, delicate mint, toasted walnuts, and a big squeeze of lemon.
It's basically spring in a bowl. And isn't it so pretty too?!
Toasted Buckwheat Tabbouleh with Radish, Snap Peas, and Mint
1 cup kasha (toasted buckwheat), rinsed
6-7 radishes, very thinly sliced
1/3 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
1 heaping cup snap peas, cut into thirds
Large handful parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
uice from 2 lemons
Fine sea salt + pepper, to taste
To cook the kasha (buckwheat), bring 1 3/4 cups filtered water to a boil. Add a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of salt, and the rinsed kasha. Return to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-13 minutes. The kasha should be tender, but not mushy. Let sit, covered, for another 10 minutes. Then uncover and let cool so the remaining steam can evaporate. Do not stir the kasha until it's almost cool or you'll risk mushy grains. Fluff with a fork.
While the kasha cooks / cools, combine remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Add in cooked buckwheat and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Notes: Kasha and raw buckwheat cook differently. For this recipe, make sure you find the toasted (kasha) version.