I know that when we hear the word SALAD we right away think of a big bowl of greens. And salads can totally be an amazing addition to any meal, But I love making salads THE meal itself! There are many ways to transform a regular and simple salad into a more substantial and filling meal. Same like we do with quinoa and farro, today we are using the humble buckwheat!
I feel like Buckwheat is really underrated. It is one of the most amazing superfoods out there, mainly known in the Russian diet as Kasha. It is a grain that contains no wheat, it is gluten-free, and combines all 8 essential amino acids, and considers a complete plant-based protein by the USDA!!!!
I bet you didn’t know that buckwheat, despite its misleading name, is not a type of wheat at all. This hearty grain is actually a seed from a plant related to rhubarb and sorrel. Who knew, right? And while it’s been a staple in Eastern European cuisines for centuries, buckwheat is now making a name for itself around the globe due to its numerous health benefits and versatile culinary uses.
2 sweet potatoes, peeled
2 red beets, peeled
1 head of garlic, top part removed
5 sprigs of fresh thyme1/2 tsp sumac, cumin, sweet paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups buckwheat
2.5 cups boiling water
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds, or other nuts of your choice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 big lemon, squeezed
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup tahini paste
3/4 cup water
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 tsp honey
1 head roasted garlic
1). Preheat oven to 400 F.
Roast the veggies:
Peel and cut both the potatoes and beets into 1/2-inch cubes. Wash and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper to taste and the spice blend of sumac, cumin and paprika. Cut the head/ top part of one whole garlic, and place on the baking sheet as well. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and roast, uncovered, for about 35-45 minutes, until tender and golden brown.
Prepare our buckwheat:
2). While the veggies are roasting, we will move on to prepare our buckwheat. You can use the regular KASHA, which is the brown color, or the RAW, unroasted one. IN THIS RECIPE I USE A COMBINATION OF BOTH THE RAW AND ROASTED.
Measure 3/4th cup of roasted buckwheat and another 3/4th cup of the raw type in a colander. (Total of 1.5 cups of buckwheat of your choice). Wash under runing water for about 2 minutes or so. (don’t skip this step) set aside.
In a pot, place 1 tbsp olive oil, add one peeled garlic clove, and stir until oil is fragrant. Add the washed and drained buckwheat and mix with the oil for a couple of minutes until the buckwheat is all coated with the oil. Add the boiling water, season with salt and pepper to taste. Once bubbly and boiling, cover, reduce the heat to simmer for 18 minutes. Then turn off the flame, and allow to remain covered for 10 minutes more. Then open the lid, fluff with a fork, and allow to come to a room temperature, uncovered.
Prepare the aromatics:
3). In a bowl, combine chopped red onion, green onion and parsley. Dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh lemon, and optional red wine vinegar. Set aside.
Prepare the Whipped tahini:
4). In a food processor or blender cup combine tahini, water, lemon, honey/ maple, and roasted garlic from the pan of the veggies we roasted. Remove the garlic cloves from the peels and add to the blender, season with salt and pepper, and some cumin if you wish. Blend/ process until very smooth, and adjust water, salt and pepper to your liking. Transfer to a bowl.
5). Place the cooked buckwheat in a mixing bowl. Add the roasted beets and sweet potatoes. Then add the aromatics, and mix well to combine. taste and check if you need some more salt, pepper, and lemon. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds, and garnish with some more parsley. Transfer to a plate and drizzle the whipped garlic tahini on top.
So there you have it – a salad that is not just vibrant and flavorful but packed with nutrition as well! Whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian, someone with gluten sensitivity, or just someone looking to add more healthy and diverse meals to your diet, this buckwheat salad with whipped garlic tahini is sure to impress. Enjoy!
Speaking of health benefits, did you know that buckwheat is a fantastic source of both fiber and magnesium? The fiber in buckwheat can help keep you feeling full and satisfied, which is why this salad is not just a salad but a complete meal! And as for magnesium, this essential mineral aids in over 300 reactions in the human body, including muscle function, maintaining heartbeat rhythm, and supporting a healthy immune system.
Not to forget the star of this recipe: the whipped garlic tahini. This delectable topping originates from the Middle East and is traditionally used in dishes like hummus and baba ganoush. Tahini is made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds and is known for its high content of healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin B. The creamy texture and rich, nutty flavor complement the earthy notes of the buckwheat, creating a harmony of flavors that is hard to resist!
And about those roasted vegetables you’re adding, they’re not just there to add color and texture to the salad. Beets, for instance, are high in essential nutrients, great for heart health, and even help lower blood pressure. Likewise, sweet potatoes aren’t just delicious – they’re also high in fiber and packed with vitamins A and C!
Finally, those sunflower seeds you’re sprinkling on top aren’t just a garnish. They’re a fantastic source of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage. Not to mention, they add a nice little crunch that contrasts beautifully with the creamy tahini and the tender roasted vegetables.
So, in that case, buckwheat salad is A MEAL; and we are going to make it really, really hearty and colorful.
Prepare and wash your veggies
Peel and cut into even chunks
Mix sumac, paprika, and cumin
Roast the veggies
Prepare the buckwheat
Mix the aromatics..
Assemble the salad
And have your tahini ready!
Drizzle tahini and add some more fresh greens