Buckwheat Tabbouleh with Goat Cheese is a light and zippy salad, flush with fiber and herbs. It is quick and easy to make, healthy, filling, and is a great alternative to traditional Bulgar wheat tabbouleh if you're gluten-free. This salad allows the nutty flavor of buckwheat to come through. If you've never tried buckwheat groats before, this is a great place to start. A word about buckwheat grouts for those unfamiliar with this lovely little grain. Buckwheat is in fact not related to its' namesake, wheat, and comes from the triangular seed of an herb. Toasted buckwheat groats are called Kasha; Buckwheat grouts are the raw version. These little kernels taste nutty and have a firm texture when cooked, they stand up well to lemon vinaigrette and meld deliciously together for a final product that is refreshing and filling. This recipe is adapted from America's Test Kitchen's How Can it be Gluten Free Cookbook. We (but mostly me) at the Hungry Hounds are always searching for an opportunity to add goat cheese to dishes, and this was a perfect opportunity. The goat cheese stepped up the flavor contrast, added richness, and blended with the other ingredients to make for an earthy, herbaceous mouthful!
- 1 cup buckwheat groats, rinsed
- 3 medium tomatoes, cut into small pieces, about 1/2 inch
- 1/2 English cucumber, cut into small pieces about 1/2 inch
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup oil (preferably extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 medium bunch parsley, finely chopped (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/4-1/2 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
1. Place a large pot with water (at least 2 quarts) on high and bring to a boil. Once boiling add buckwheat grouts and a large pinch of salt.
2. Simmer the water at medium-low heat for 11-14 minutes until the grains are cooked through. You will want to start tasting them towards the end of the cook time to test for doneness. the buckwheat should be roughly the texture of cooked brown rice; no hardness in the center, but firm and chewy. Once cooked, drain and transfer to a serving bowl.
3.While the buckwheat is cooking, mix tomatoes and cucumbers with 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a colander and place over the sink to drain for 15-30 minutes. This will eliminate the extra moisture from the vegetables and maximize their flavor.
4. Combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify.
5. Add the dressing to the buckwheat, add the herbs and vegetables and stir gently to combine. This salad gets better as the flavors meld, so ideally let it sit for 15-30 minutes prior to serving.
6. Add the goat cheese immediately prior to serving .
Note: Remember if the texture of your raw grouts is powdered, your end product will be porridge-like. We highly recommend buying Buckwheat grouts through a high quality distributor (a fresh and consistent milling), Bob's Red Mill is our favorite for this.