Buckwheat, Fennel and Carrot Salad with Orange Dressing

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Contrary to its name, buckwheat has nothing to do with wheat. It is actually a seed from a plant related to rhubarb and is totally gluten-free.

Its chewy, nutty texture is particularly interesting in salads and can be used to replace bulgar wheat, couscous or rice in a variety of dishes.

Buckwheat groats are rich in protein and fiber, as well as being rich in a whole host antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, including manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, zinc, folate, and vitamin B6.

When you’re shopping for buckwheat, do take note of the fact that you can buy raw buckwheat groats and toasted groats, known as kasha. Although delicious, this recipe calls for raw buckwheat groats.

Raw untoasted buckwheat is a pale white, greenish colour with a mild taste. Toasted buckwheat, aka kasha, is dark brown in colour with an earthy flavour as a result of toasting.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 200g cooked buckwheat
  • 1 or 2 carrots (depending on size)
  • 1 fennel bulb, fronds and outer layer removed
  • Juice of 1 large/2 small organic oranges +rind of ½
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbs. organic cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. organic vegetable oil
  • Flat-leaf parsley to garnish
  • ½ tsp. sea salt (or to taste)

Method

How to Cook Buckwheat

  1. Rinse the buckwheat under running water and drain.
  2. Using 1 part buckwheat to 2 parts water or stock, place in a pan on a moderate heat and bring to a gentle boil.
  3. Place the lid half on and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pan.  There should be no liquid left in the bottom

Buckwheat, Fennel and Carrot Salad with Orange Dressing

  1. Prepare the dressing by reducing the orange juice and grated rind for a few minutes over a medium heat. You will want roughly 2 tbsp. concentrated juice. Leave aside to cool.
  2. Mix the cooled juice, minced garlic, vinegar and olive oil by whisking together in a small bowl.
  3. Grate or spirallize the carrot and add to the orange dressing to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Trim the fennel, removing any tough outer layers and the upper stalks but keep the root end intact. Retain the fronds for garnish.
  5. Carefully slice the fennel vertically with a knife or mandolin. Brush the fennel on both sides with some vegetable oil and arrange on a griddle pan (moderate to hot).
    Leave the slices to take on some colour before turning.
  6. Meanwhile, mix the marinated carrots and the orange dressing with the buckwheat, arrange on a plate and top with the seared fennel, fennel fronds and parsley as garnish.

Buckwheat with fennel and carrot salad
fennel and orange on chopping board

Serving Suggestions

The carrot and buckwheat can be prepared in advance to bring to a barbecue and the fennel cooked on the grill.

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