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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Warm Salad of Spring Vegetables with Buckwheat

Spring is here! I decided to shop for spring veggies to make a salad and this is what I found: snap peas, spring onions, sweet petite peppers and white asparagus. I wanted to add more consistency to the salad with the buckwheat. Because all of these ingredients are sweet I added some Greek feta cheese to provide contrast with its tangy flavor. I added some salt flakes, freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a splash of cream of balsamic and here you have a healthy, colorful and delicious seasonal salad.

For those of you with dieting restrictions this salad is gluten-free and grain-free. As I explained in another post buckwheat is not related to wheat, nor it is a cereal grain. It is a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel, making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. The advantage of buckwheat is that it cooks in just 10 minutes!

Buckwheat before cooking

Snap peas are edible-pod peas, they are sweet and really tender. For this recipe I stir-fried them in a wok together with the spring onions. The white asparagus where boiled in salted water and added to the salad. The sweet peppers where roasted in the oven.

Now let's go with the recipe which is simple and healthy as usual! It will also make a great vegan salad by substituting the cheese for tofu.


Serves 4

1 cup buckwheat
3 spring onions (quartered)
1 lb snap peas
1 lb sweet petite pepper medley
1 bunch white asparagus
6 oz. feta cheese
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
cream of balsamic
salt and pepper

Sweet peppers: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Drizzle peppers with one tablespoon of olive oil and place in an oven safe sheet. Bake until tender and slightly browned (about 30 minutes).

Buckwheat: Put buckwheat and two cups of water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse over cold water.

Snap peas and spring onions: Heat a skillet or wok over high heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil, snap peas and spring onions. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

White asparagus: Peel the bottom two-thirds of each spear. Boil asparagus in salted water until tender (about 8-10 minutes)

Assemble buckwheat, veggies and feta cheese on a plate or bowl and drizzle with remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and cream of balsamic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm or room temperature.


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