Buckwheat and Roasted Root Vegetables

Buckwheat and Root Vegetables

I love buckwheat. It is nutty, warming, full of protein and nutritious. I can’t think of a better food for the early autumn that seems to be descending on England. I first read about this wonderful grain in my favourite non-vegan cookbook “The Vegetarian Hearth” by Darra Goldstein. The subtitle is “Recipes and Reflections for the Cold Seasons” and it is packed with food from Eastern Europe as well as links to culture and history. Although not all the recipes are vegan most are and the ones that are not largely mean swapping cow juice for delicious nut or soy milk. I hope to cook from it more this winter and will share my experiments here 🙂 There is a whole chapter dedicated to buckwheat with a fascinating history of its use in the 19th century USA and its use in Europe. It really wets the appetite for the recipes that follow.

For those of you who don’t know buckwheat I would urge you to go and find a bag of toasted grains (also called Kasha) and try this recipe. I love to pair it with other earthy flavours like beetroot and mushrooms but it also needs something a little acidic to cut through it. This time I used some simple mustard dressing but then realised it would be the perfect place for a heap of pickled red cabbage – really wish I had thought of that in time.

Serves 2

  • 3 medium beetroots cubed
  • 1 large sweet potato cubed
  • 2 carrots thickly sliced
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 6 mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tsp – smoked paprika, smoked chilli, ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 1 medium beetroot – grated
  • 1 medium carrot – grated
  • 1 handful of walnuts
  • juice from one lemon
  • 2 big handfuls of watercress
  • something acidic i.e. mustard dressing, pickled vegetables.

You have a few different dishes to come together here but none of them need to be served really hot which helps.

For the root veg – roast the beetroot in a little oil for 20 minutes before adding the sweet potato and carrot along with any seasoning (smoked sea salt and cumin works well).

For the buckwheat – Fry the onion and mushroom in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Add the spice and then the buckwheat and lentils. Stir well and then add the water. Bring back to the boil and leave covered and simmering for about 15 minutes. It will go pretty mushy (I never claimed this was a pretty dish).

The other beetroot and carrot make a little ‘slaw to serve. Mix with the walnut and lemon juice.

Once everything is done put the watercress on the plate and top with buckwheat mix and then the beetroot ‘slaw. The root veg go around the edge of the plate and serve with flatbread etc.

How do you eat your buckwheat? I would love to get more recipes and ideas for this grain to get me through the long winter nights.

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