Wandering through the streets & little laneways' of South Melbourne we came to one of my sister’s favourite hidden away cafes. My sister recommended the buckwheat salad, I’m not the biggest fan of buckwheat in a salad, so I hesitated and scanned the menu. It was the only thing vegan on the menu so Caspar and I had to have to have it. Wow, was it worth it. I was so inspired by
the concept of a buckwheat & fresh herbs salad – it really worked!
Buckwheat is one of those grains that has had a bad rap over the years, that has been done so badly that no-one wants to give it a go. I know I’ve never really had a good solid savory buckwheat dish up my sleave that I’m proud of and enjoy eating (other than my savory buckwheat pancake - see previous buckwheat pancake post).
So I altered a few things to suit my tastes and added a couple ingredients that I thought would work well, and took a few things out! So thanks to the inspiration of this wonderful little cafe here is my new favourite buckwheat recipe.
I just love to be inspired when I eat out and I must say it doesn’t happen that often but when it does, it’s like it lights something up inside of me. Sometimes it inspires a new creation like this salad, which I am thrilled about. I’m really happy to get more buckwheat into my diet in a simple no fuss kind of way. It’s so fabulous for you.
Despite its name, buckwheat is not a type of wheat -- nor is it related to wheat. Buckwheat isn't even a grain; it's the fruit of a plant that's related to rhubarb! It’s a great Aniti oxidant, has more protein than any grain, excellent source of fiber and thus great for weight loss and wonderfully high in magnesium, which is great for your blood, brain & nervous system. Does that make you wanna try this dish? Go on it’s easy!
To make the salad
1 cup Buckwheat, lightly toasted until golden (see below)
½ large cauliflower, cut into flat florets
2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, de-seeded & cut on a long slant
Fresh herb/s of your choice:
1 cup whole coriander leaves
1 cup whole coriander leaves
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp good salt
pepper to taste
Cooking the buckwheat
Toast the buckwheat grain in a dry frying pan (no oil) until golden.
Then place in a saucepan with filtered water (2:1 ratio). So in this recipe: one cup buckwheat to 2 cups of water.
Bring to boil and reduce heat to a simmer for approximately 12-15 mins or until grain has doubled and absorbed the water.
Turn heat off and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes. Run under cold water to cool the buckwheat ready to toss with the rest of the salad.
While cooking the buckwheat prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Toss the cauliflower florets in good olive oil, black pepper & salt. Shake off excess oil and char-grilled the cauliflower florets on a hot griddle pan until blackened.
Put aside to cool.
Toasted the pepita’s seeds (pumpkins seeds) on a dry frying pan until popping and golden. Place aside to cool.
Toss all the components of the salad together.
To make a great dressing to go with this salad, try this one…
Tahini lemon dressing
½ cup Tahini
½ cup Lemon juice
1 tsp raw agave or maple syrup
¼ cup filtered water
Shake all the ingredients in a jar until you get a thick-ish pour-able dressing. Served dressing on the side.