With spring slowly turning towards summer, farmer's markets and CSA's across the country are filling up with a riot of unique seasonal produce. Spring Buckwheat Grouts Salad is a fresh and easy way to feature whatever is local and in season. Freely swap out the vegetables, herbs, and garnish to fit what looks best at your market. Using buckwheat gives a hearty, nutty, and gluten-free base on which to build a delicious salad. Follow the link over to Bob's Red Mill where we wrote a guest post this week: Spring Buckwheat Salad at Bob's Red Mill.
Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side
- 1 cup Buckwheat Groats, rinsed
- 3 Asparagus Spears, cut into small pieces, about 1/2 inch
- 6-8 Wild Ramps, washed, outer membrane removed and cut into small pieces (substitute Green Onion, Leeks, Red Onion or Shallots)
- 2 small Radishes, washed and sliced as thinly as possible
- Small handful Violet Flowers for garnish
- Small handful Pea Sprouts (substitute extra Mint, Basil, Parsley, Kale, or Spinach)
- 4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Oil (preferably Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- ¼ cup fresh Mint
- 1/2 cup fresh Basil
- 3 Green Onion Stalks
- Place 2 medium-large pots with water (at least 2 quarts) on high and bring to a boil.
- To the first pot add buckwheat groats and a large pinch of salt.
- Simmer buckwheat 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.
- Prepare a large bowl with very cold water and ice, you will be using this to blanch your vegetables.
- To the second pot of water add the chopped vegetables that you want to cook (asparagus and ramps). Allow to cook in simmering water for one minute and then remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, transfer directly to the bowl with ice water. The ice bath stops the cooking process and preserves the vibrant color of your vegetables. Once the vegetables are cooled down, 2-3 minutes, remove from ice water and set aside.
- In a blender or other food processing device combine the vinaigrette ingredients (vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, mint, basil, and green onion) and blend until smooth.
- Add the basil vinaigrette to the buckwheat. Add ramps, asparagus, and radishes, stir gently to combine and garnish with the violet flowers and pea sprouts. This salad gets better as the flavors meld, so ideally let it sit for 15-30 minutes prior to serving.
A few ideas for seasonal variations:
- Summer: Tomato, corn and purple basil buckwheat salad with tomatillo salsa
- Fall: Roasted butternut, beet and red onion buckwheat salad with crumbled blue cheese
- Winter: Apple fennel buckwheat salad with blood orange vinaigrette