Buckwheat tabbouleh with pickled beets and quick cashew cheese
( SERVES 4 )
This is a beautiful salad that works as a shared table dish or as a hearty main meal on its own. The pickled beetroot is delicious and pairs nicely with the nuttiness of the buckwheat and the freshness of the cheese and bitter greens. All of the elements here also work well as sides, so if you make extra they will be easy to use in other ways, like sandwiches and lunchboxes. I’ve topped this salad with some balsamic sunflower seeds — which I lightly toasted and drizzled with some aged balsamic while they were still in the pan, but not on the heat.
|2 cups||Water, or vegetable stock|
|¼||Shallot, very finely diced|
|1||Garlic clove, grated on a microplane or crushed and chopped finely|
|1 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|2 large handfuls||Parsley, roughly chopped|
|1 tsp||Lemon zest|
|4 large handfuls||Salad greens, my mix also had sorrel, mustard greens and radicchio in it for the bitter flavour|
|1 serving||Pickled beets, recipe below|
|1 serving||Cashew cheese, recipe below|
|1 drizzle||Olive oil|
|1 drizzle||Aged balsamic vinegar|
- Lightly toast the buckwheat in a saucepan, add the water or vegetable stock and bring to the boil, turn down to a low simmer and place the lid on. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender and the water has absorbed.
- Place in a bowl while warm and add the shallot, garlic and olive oil. Set aside to cool.
- Once cool add the parsley, lemon zest and salt to taste. I like to add other herbs like mint and chives or coriander depending on what I’m serving it with. For this salad I also added chives and a little mint to it.
- Place the salad greens in the bottom of a large open bowl or platter. Top with pickled beets.
- Place large spoonfuls of buckwheat tabbouleh around the plate and add dollops of quick cashew cheese.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then top with sunflower seeds or toasted nuts.
1kg beetroot (washed with tops removed)
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
¼ cup honey (or coconut nectar or coconut sugar)
¼ tsp salt
1 stick cinnamon (optional)
- Boil the beetroot until tender, around 30-40 minutes depending on how big your beetroot are. Once tender, place the beetroot in a bowl of cold water to help loosen the skins — they should slip off easily with your hands.
- Slice them into quarters or halves depending on how big your beets are. If my beetroot are really large, I cut them into more bite-sized pieces. Once chopped to your desired size, place them into a jar (give the jar a quick rinse with boiling water first).
- Place all the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and warm (if you’re using coconut sugar, cook until it dissolves). Pour the warm liquid and cinnamon stick, if using, over the beets. Allow to cool, then cover with a lid and store in the fridge. The liquid should cover the beetroot so if it doesn’t you will need to make a little more.
- They will last for several months in the fridge. You can adjust the acidity and sweetness to your liking as well as use other spices or herbs like rosemary and thyme in the mix. With hard spices like cinnamon and cloves they can become very intense when left in with the mixture too long — I take mine out after a few days.
Quick cashew cheese
1½ cups cashews (soaked for 2–4 hours)
1/4cup filtered water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp nutritional yeast 1/3 tsp
1/3 tsp sea salt flakes, plus extra to taste
- Rinse and drain soaked cashews thoroughly. Place in a food processor with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Add in any additional sea salt, nutritional yeast or lemon juice to taste.
- Store in a well-sealed container in the fridge for 5−6 days.
NOTE: You could use a blender for a smoother cheese, but this will require more water to get it moving. Your cheese will be runnier — it’s still delicious but not as rich and cheesy. Add any additional water slowly.