Buckwheat Pilaf

December 14th, 2012

Buckwheat is an incredible grain.  Well, actually it's a grass–not a grain–but who's keeping track? 

                          

Native to cold climates, buckwheat helps our bodies adapt to cold weather, so anyone out there who can see your breath, or needs to shovel your stoop, should consider eating buckwheat every ten days or so.  Also known as "kasha", buckwheat packs a powerful, warm punch to the kidneys, bladder and reproductive organs.  It's slightly drying, so go easy, but buckwheat's a great addition to your regular grain rotation during  winter.

 

Buckwheat Pilaf

This dish was concocted by DILFy Howard Wallen really plays off the strong flavor of the buckwheat by bringing some sour and some spicy to the mix.  The walnuts also give it a crunch.  I think you’ll like it. 

½ cup walnuts

¾ cup water

½ cup buckwheat

2 cups peeled, diced russet potatoes or cauliflower pieces

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 ¼ cups finely diced onions

1 cup halved mushrooms

¼ cup chopped sauerkraut

6 cloves minced garlic

2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

2 teaspoons chili powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Roast the walnuts on a baking sheet for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove walnuts and remove to a plate to cool.  Chop the walnuts coarsely and set aside. 

In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the water and buckwheat, bring to a simmer and cover.  Remove from heat and let buckwheat sit to absorb water.  In a steamer, steam potatoes for 15 minutes (cauliflower for 10) or until firm but soft, then set aside to cool. 

In a medium frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onions, mushrooms, sauerkraut, garlic, thyme, chili powder, and salt for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add the potatoes (cauliflower), bulgur, nuts, and parsley, then mix well.  Heat everything together, then remove from heat and serve immediately. 

Serves 4

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