Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Buckwheat and Broccoli Salad in Tangy Miso Dressing

I had NO IDEAS what buckwheat groats were. I know buckwheat is a good grain for you though and the picture for this recipe in The New Whole Grains Cookbook looked so tasty. So I thought I'd give it a try.

buckwheat groats = unroasted buckwheat groats = raw buckwheat groats = whole white buckwheat groats.

Notes: These are buckwheat kernels that are stripped of their inedible outer coating and then crushed into smaller pieces. Unprocessed white groats are slightly bitter, so before you cook them it's a good idea to toast them in oil for several minutes until they're rust-colored. This removes the bitterness and brings out a pleasant, nutty flavor. If you don't want to do this yourself, you can buy already roasted groats, called kasha.

Substitutes: kasha (similar texture, nuttier flavor) OR millet OR amaranth OR quinoa

I made this recipe over a few days. One day I prepared the buckwheat. A different day I prepared the veggies. On a third day I finally put everything together and ate it. It lasted for three or four days more in the fridge. The salad was okay. Somehow I added too many onions and by letting it sit the taste just permeating through the entire salad. Overall, I want to say it was almost "clean" tasting. I felt fresh and healthy eating it. I forgot the cashews though and I think it would have added a nice additional crunch.

Buckwheat and Broccoli Salad in Tangy Miso Dressing
Serves 5

1 cup buckwheat groats
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons red miso
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
1/2 cup julienned carrot
2 scallions, minced
1/2 cup cashews, toasted

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat the buckwheat groats over medium-high heat. Swirl the groats in the pan, toasting them until they are crackling, hot to the touch, and fragrant, about 5 minutes. In a wire-mesh strainer, wash the hot buckwheat quickly and drain thoroughly. Put the 1 1/2 cups water in the pan and bring to a boil. Add the buckwheat, return to a boil, cover tightly, and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for about 20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Take the pan off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer the cooked grain to a bowl, cover, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large measuring cup, whisk the miso, canola oil, and vinegar until smooth. Whisk in the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, pepper flakes, and honey. Pour the dressing over the cooled buckwheat and toss to coat.

To serve, spread the buckwheat on a platter, and top with the broccoli, carrot, and scallions. Sprinkle the cashews over the salad and serve. Alternatively, mix the veggies in the grain and chill.

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