Despite its name, buckwheat is not wheat. It’s gluten-free, and it’s safe for people with celiac disease. Buckwheat and wheat are from completely different botanical families. Buckwheat seeds are technically the fruit of a plant called Fagopyrum esculentum. Although buckwheat is not a grain, it is sometimes referred to as a pseudocereal. For processing into food, buckwheat seeds must first be dehulled. The remaining seed material, called groats, can be ground into flour. Roasted groats are known as kasha. Buckwheat is high in protein and B vitamins and rich in phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium, and lysine. A great source of dietary fiber, buckwheat helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
Growing up, I remember my grandmother serving buckwheat as a hot side dish along with some whole wheat farfalle (bow tie pasta). Ironically, buckwheat wasn’t exactly on the top of my favorite dishes until I’ve learned about other variations. A lot of people I know tend to serve buckwheat as a side dish which is fine. I’ve seen buckwheat being eaten as it is. Some people I know would also add some tomato sauce and cheese, or ground beef.
I know that I’m long overdue for a salad recipe. I do think buckwheat would make a great and nutritious addition to salads. I’m sure a lot of you discovered a variety of buckwheat salad recipes. I initially planned to make a buckwheat salad using apples,walnuts, and cinnamon. Instead, I’ve decided to make this salad more savory at the last minute. This salad can be eaten hot or cold. You can use produce outside of which I provide on this recipe. I don’t like abiding by the letter of the law when it comes to cooking. That is why I tend to create my own variation.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 cup of buckwheat
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
- 3 plum tomatoes chopped and seeded
- 1 large ripe avocado pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Handful of chopped parsley
Add 4 cups water for every 2 cups buckwheat. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt in the water, bring it to a boil for a couple of minutes, then turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Buckwheat is fully cooked when it is dry and fluffy. Do not stir the buckwheat while it is cooking.
Mix together the dressing by whisking the lemon zest and juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil,paprika, oil, salt, and pepper. The pinch salt will bring the oil and vinegar together. Add vegetables to the dressing bowl and toss. Once the buckwheat is cooked, add it to the bowl. Add parsley, give it one last toss, and serve.
Yields 4 servings