In this recipe I gave a classic Middle Eastern salad an upgrade with Buckwheat (Kasha), a nutritional powerhouse which is loaded with protein, all kind of vitamins and is gluten-free. This salad is layered with crisp raw vegetables and cooked ones and finished with a bright citrus, dill and jalapeño pepper vinaigrette. The possibilities for making such salads are endless; they are a delicious main course or a side dish. Feel free to substitute Buckwheat with any of your favorite grains or small pasta, use deferent herbs, use chicken or shrimps instead of sausages, use vegetable stock and omit sausages for a vegetarian version; add texture by using nuts or seeds. —Kukla
Test Kitchen Notes
This buckwheat tabbouleh is a multi-textured play on the traditional Middle Eastern dish. The smokiness of the buckwheat and the sausage, combined with the fresh, almost bracing radish and lemongrass and the soft sweetness of the roasted turnips play surprisingly well together. It's a dish that is beautiful in early summer, with a flavor profile that wouldn't seem out of place in early spring as well. There's a lot going on here -- all of it good. —jencwalter
4 to 6
For the Tabbouleu
• 1 cup buckwheat (kasha), rinsed, well dried and toasted in a non-stick pan for two minutes
• 2 cups homemade or low-sodium purchased chicken stock
• 1 stalk lemon grass, washed, cut in 3 sticks and smashed with a back of a knife
• 1 nub (about 2-inches) peeled fresh ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 bunch young turnips, washed and sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
• 3 smoked sausages of your choice, casing removed and cut in 1/2-inch rounds(optional)
• 1/2 onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 of a large bell pepper, seeded and sliced in strips
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 6 radishes, washed and thinly sliced
• 2-3 spring onions white and green parts, thinly chopped
• 1/4 cup dill sprigs for garnish
For the vinaigrette
• 2 teaspoons orange zest
• 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
• 1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and membranes removed, diced
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan on medium heat bring chicken stock, lemon grass, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a simmer; turn of the heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes; then using a slotted spoon remove and discard the lemon grass and ginger.
Bring the chicken stock back to boil, add the toasted buckwheat groats. When it comes back to boil, cover tightly with a lid, lower the heat to medium; cook for 5 minutes, turn down the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes. It is extremely important not to raise the lid, not to stir, not to disturb
the buckwheat until it is ready, it should be whole kernels. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes; then fluff with a fork.
Preheat oven to 425°.
While buckwheat is cooking, toss turnip slices and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread turnip slices out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until turnip is crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Let turnip cool on baking sheet.
Coat the bottom of a large heave bottomed skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil, heat on medium flame, add sausages and cook until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, remove to a plate. Add onion, garlic and pepper strips; season with some salt and pepper and cook, stirring until the vegetables are just softened for about 6 to 8 more minutes.
For the vinaigrette
Whisk orange juice, lime juice, the diced jalapeño pepper, dill, and zest in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup oil; season orange vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the buckwheat to a large bowl; add roasted turnip, along with any accumulated juices on baking sheet. Add sausages, the sautéed onion, garlic and bell pepper, half of radishes, spring onions, and 1/4 cup dill sprigs. Drizzle 1/2 cup orange vinaigrette over and toss to coat; taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Arrange salad on a large platter.
Scatter remaining radishes, and some dill sprigs over salad. Pass remaining orange vinaigrette alongside for drizzling over. Enjoy.