About this recipe:Also called ‘kasha’, whole buckwheat grains give a pleasing chewy texture to this hearty vegetarian pilaf. Buckwheat is higher in protein than most grains, as well as providing B vitamins, minerals and fibre.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
¼ tsp crushed dried chillies, or to taste
400g toasted buckwheat
400g can chopped tomatoes
600ml vegetable stock
12 mi-cuit (semi-dried) tomatoes, chopped
pinch of sugar
30g fresh mint
75g feta cheese, drained
40g stoned black olives, sliced
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Method Prep:17min › Cook:20min › Ready in:37min
Put the oil in a flameproof casserole or large, heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, over a medium heat. Add the onions and chilli flakes and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the onions are softened, but not coloured.
Stir in the buckwheat and continue stirring for about 2 minutes until it smells ‘toasty’. Stir in the canned tomatoes with their juice, the stock, mi-cuit tomatoes and sugar. Tie together 5 sprigs of the mint and add these too, with a little seasoning. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan tightly and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, without lifting the lid, until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender.
Discard the bunch of mint sprigs. Crumble over the feta cheese and lightly stir in with the olives. Put a folded tea towel over the top of the saucepan to absorb excess moisture, then replace the lid and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Roughly tear the remaining mint leaves from the sprigs and scatter over the top. Serve at once.
If you can't find buckwheat at the supermarket, it is readily available from health-food shops. * Mi-cuit tomatoes, sold on the deli counter, are semi-dried tomatoes with a very sweet flavour. Alternatively, use sun-dried tomatoes that have been packed in oil and use the oil from the jar in step 1.
The feta can be replaced with another semi-soft cheese, such as diced Brie.
My partner liked this more than I did. He went back for a large helping of seconds. For me it was nice but not fabulous. Not sure what was the missing element for me. I've given it 4 stars instead of 3 as it was so popular with my partner. - 08 Jun 2011