I love the robust flavors of this hearty salad. Beets, parsley and feta are the perfect balance for assertive buckwheat. It’s a great combination and a wonderful buffet dish, particularly if you’re serving to guests who are sensitive to gluten, as buckwheat is gluten-free.
Yield: Makes 6 to 8 side servings
For the kasha:
2 cups (500 mL) vegetable or chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (250 mL) kasha or buckwheat groats (see Notes)
For the salad:
2 cups (500 mL) diced peeled cooked beets
4 stalks celery, diced
6 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced 6
½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped parsley
3 oz (90 g) crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing:
¼ cup (50 mL) red wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring stock and garlic to a boil. Gradually add kasha, stirring constantly to prevent clumping. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and kasha is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Fluff up with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl and let cool slightly.
2. Dressing: In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, stirring until salt dissolves. Gradually whisk in olive oil until blended. Add to kasha and toss well.
3. Add beets, celery and green onions to kasha and toss again. Chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, garnish with parsley and sprinkle feta over top.
Rice and Beet Salad with Celery and Feta: Substitute 3 cups (750 mL) cooked long-grain brown rice for the cooked kasha.
Buckwheat groats that are already toasted are known as kasha. If you prefer a milder buckwheat flavor, use groats rather than kasha in this dish. Just place them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until they are nicely fragrant, about 4 minutes. In the process they will darken from a light shade of sand to one with a hint of brown. Groats you toast yourself have a milder flavor than store-bought kasha.