I never cooked with buckwheat before. Yes, I know, I know. But my Grandma didn’t cook it, my mother didn’t cook it, anyone in my family never even mentioned buckwheat so what’s here to wonder about. Except me, because here and there and buckwheat everywhere, and I still kept avoiding it like Green Eggs and Ham.
So here I am, Sam! With delicious bowl full of health: hearthy buckwheat along with sauteed veggies. Caramelised onions and carrots, sweet and seductive, garlic quickly warmed up, just to let his scent hug the bowl. And finally, crisp, purple radicchio and a splash of vineggar, the perfect balance of bitter and sour to finnish the symphony of this salad along with a silky dollop of vegan mayonaise.
For this salad I just used what I had around but the story isn’t so simple. Namely, I was supposed to use chickory. But for the life of me I couldn’t find three leaves of chickory anywhere, so I read about the substitutions. So there were endives and radicchio, the first cousins. But endives, also, was impossible to find. More reason because, in Croatia, endive is obviously not what you would call endive, but pretty headed green letuce like veggie. Like lettuce but with curly, bitterish leaves. Bottom line, no endives for me either.
So there it was, radicchio, and I had to cook something with it. And why? Well. There is a food bloggers game in ex Yugoslavia region. It’s called, Ajme, koliko nas je! Which means something, look how many of us! (Us meaning food bloggers). So every month another food blogger hosts the game and sets an ingredient for food bloggers to cook with. So people who want to enter cook with that one ingredient, publish recipes on their blogs and send their applications to the host. The host gathers all the recipes in one mutual post and pronounce winner(s). It’s all pretty symbolic but it serves the great purpose of meeting and connecting with other bloggers, compare recipes, try new things and above all, make friends and have fun. I was a hostes once on my Croatian blog Mirisna teka, and my task was nutmeg.
This month, my dear colleague Sunčica is a hostes of this game and her task was – as you can guess – chickory. Sunčica is professional cook in France and is an author of beautiful vegan/vegetarian blog Mes Folies Culinaires. She writes both in French and Serbian, both French and Serbian traditional recipes.
So, my dear Sunčica, I’m sorry I didn’t find chickory. It’s not very commont here so I couldn’t buy any. I hope you’ll still like my recipe with substitution because I really wanted to join. Till then, I’ll surely go and make vegan meat balls from your last post!
So here’s the recipe:
Vegan Buckwheat & Radicchio Salad
serves 3 – 4
150 g/1 c of buckwheat
360 ml/1 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp salt
1 parsley root
1 parsnip root (optional)
1 big onion
1 – 2 cloves of garlic
cup of shreded radicchio
1 – 2 tbsp of vineggar of your taste or lemon juice. I used white rice vineggar.
tomatoes and spring onions for garnishing
Wash the buckwheat thoroughly and drain. Put it in the sauce pan and cover with water. Add salt and cook on low heat for 15 – 20 minutes or till the buckwheat is cooked and water absorbed.
In the meantime, prepare veggies: slice carrots, parsley and parsnip with vegetable pealer in stripes or just julienne it with knife. Cut the onion in thin circles, but not too thin, you want them to have some shape after sautéeing. Put the veggies in a pan, add tbsp or two of oil, season to taste and sautée till just tender, about 5 minutes.
Cut the raddichio in stripes in the width of your finger.
Put the buckwheat in a big bowl, add vegetables along with radicchio and vineggar and toss gently with two spoons. Garnish with little wheels of spring onion, cherry tomatoes or whatever you feel like/have at hand. Taste the seasonings, serve with love and some creamy mayonnaise and enjoy! Salad is delicious both warm or cold.
My friend Sunčica from Mes Folies Culinaires also has a beautiful vegan mayonnaise recipe. Check it out!
Olga’s recipe from her vegan blog Fablunch
120 ml soy milk
240 ml oil
1 tsp apple cider vineggar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp mstard powder or 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp salt
(original recipe also calls for 1/2 tsp of agave syrup or other sweetener but I omitted it)
Put all the ingredients except oil into the blender and blend for a minute or so. In few additions slowly pour oil and blend more till eventually everything thickens and gets the consistency of the usual mayonnaise. Keep it in a tightly closed jar in the fridge for up to a month.