Kasha with mushrooms is a simple way to present buckwheat groats. Though this may not set off fireworks, it’s a dish that’s easy, comforting, and a good way to present an offbeat grain-like food.
Toasty brown buckwheat groats may either be passionately disliked for their strong, distinct flavor and aroma or greatly savored for the same reasons.
An oddity among grain-like foods, buckwheat isn’t a cereal grain in the botanical sense, but a beautiful pink-flowered plant related to rhubarb. The soft, pyramid-shaped seeds, when hulled and cracked, are known as buckwheat groats.
Buckwheat groats are available either in the grain or kosher food sections of supermarkets, where they’re packaged in boxes labeled kasha. In bulk sections of natural-food stores, buckwheat groats are available in various grinds—fine, medium, and coarse, which, predictably, will vary their cooking times. See this site’s complete Guide to Buckwheat Groats and Buckwheat Flour.
Complete the meal: Serve with a simple tossed salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, and olives. Toss in some chickpeas or other beans for extra protein. The flavor of a tahini-based salad dressing is a nice foil to the mild kasha dish. Try this Tahini-Parsley Salad Dressing — it’s a nice way to use up a bunch of parsley! For a larger (and greener) meal, add some steamed broccoli or green beans.
A variation using bulgur
All this being said, if you’re not a kasha can, try this with bulgur (cracked wheat), a grain food that resembles kasha somewhat, but with a milder flavor.
Combine 1 cup uncooked bulgur with 2 cups boiling vegetable broth (or water and 2 vegetable bouillon cubes) in a heatproof bowl; let stand for 30 minutes, then stir to distribute the dissolved cubes. Or, to cook the grain more quickly, combine 1 cup uncooked bulgur with 2 cups vegetable broth (or water with 2 bouillon cubes) in a saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
Kasha with Mushrooms
Kasha with mushrooms is a simple way to present buckwheat groats. It’s a dish that’s easy, comforting, and a good way to present an offbeat grain-like food.
For the kasha
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or 1 1/2 cups water with 2 regular or 1 large vegetable bouillon cubes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the mushrooms
- 10 to 12 ounces white or cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced, optional
- Broth or water as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Parsley or dill for garnish
- Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan or large skillet. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until golden.
- Add the kasha and stir to coat with the oil in the pan. continue to sauté, stirring often, until the kasha is nicely toasted and the onions lightly browned here and there, about 7 minutes.
- Pour in the broth and bring to a slow boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir gently only once during this time to keep the kasha from getting mushy. Kasha comes in various grinds, so if it’s not done to your liking at this point, pour in an additional 1/2 cup broth or water and cook until absorbed; repeat as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, combine the mushrooms with the optional garlic in a medium skillet. Add a little broth or water, just enough to keep the skillet moist before the mushrooms begin exuding liquid. Cook, covered, for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat, or until the mushrooms are done to your liking. Drain off excess liquid and season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, divide the kasha between four plates or shallow bowls. Arrange the mushrooms it, then garnish with parsley or dill. Serve at once.
Variation: See the notes on swapping in bulgur for the kasha before the recipe box.
If you like this mushroom-and-grain dish, you may also enjoy …
Mushroom-Barley Pilaf with Peas and Carrots
Here are more easy vegan salads & side dishes.
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