Spring Buckwheat Salad

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Since Elsa was born, I have been proud of the fact that we live in a worn-down one bedroom apartment with her. I suppose it has been a way for me not to feel too grown-up, even though I was the first of my friends to have a kid. “She doesn’t need her own room” has been like a mantra to me. Also, the whole idea of a perfect home gives me the creeps. I have always aimed for an imperfect home (not always to Luise’s liking). One that I can feel relaxed in, stain the sofa with coffee and drop heavy marble boards on the floor (and my toe) without hating myself for it. Come to think of it, it’s quite funny that I have spent most of my career working on decoration magazines; showcasing perfect families in impeccable homes. Or perhaps that is the very reason behind my feelings?

So why am I rambling about this? Well as we mentioned in an earlier post, we have a new family member on his way. So this weekend it was time for us to move to a new, slightly bigger apartment. With shiny floors. And a kids-room for Elsa. I have been struggling with my feelings for this new home, but the expression on Elsa’s face when she saw her new room, made me forget all about my anxiety in a heartbeat. I suddenly even look forward to creating this new home together.

We are not there today though. Our new apartment is getting a layer of paint and while it is drying up, we are staying in our family’s summer house. So we have yet to find out how the light wanders through the rooms and where we can find space to take photos. If there are any good restaurants close. If Elsa will manage to sleep on her own. And how we can renovate the non-functional kitchen on a low budget. I think it’s gonna be great, but I might just need to scratch those shiny floors a bit before we move in.

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Should I move on to the recipe or tell you a little bit about it first? Hmm, let me just quickly sum it up. I don’t have to waste a lot of words on convincing you how mixing grilled asparagus with strawberries and radishes is a hit. It is pretty obvious. We did however try something different to go with the veggies. We often cook buckwheat porridge for breakfast and use buckwheat flour when we bake, but this was our first attempt to use buckwheat groats in a salad. To be honest, it was our second attempt, the first one cooked too long, came out all soft and moist and turned the salad into a sloppy vegetable porridge. One the second attempt we cooked it on low temperature for a short while and then left it to rest for a few minutes more until it was tender but with a bite. We tossed the buckwheat groats in a parsley, lemon and honey dressing and the result exceeded our expectations both in flavor and consistency.

You might have noticed the bread on the photos and wondered “hey, what is going on there?”. Well, the pregnancy have left Luise craving rye bread, so she insisted on having croutons in the salad (first time in GKS history). Instead of the traditional square shaped croutons, she sliced rye bread thinly, put the slices on the grill and then broke them into irregular pieces. They turned out more like thin, delicious rye flakes than anything else. Next time, I think we’ll slab a hint of garlic butter on them before grilling, to make them even crispier and more flavorful.

See you next time, hopefully with a post from our new crib!

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Spring Salad with Buckwheat Groats & Rye Bread Flakes

Just leave out the parmesan if you are vegan and replace the honey with maple syrup.

1 cup / 250 ml whole buckwheat groats
2 cups / 500 ml water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon, or more to taste + more for the asparagus
1 drizzle cold-pressed olive oil or rapeseed oil + more for the asparagus
1 tbsp honey, preferable unheated
1 bunch asparagus (approx. 15 spears)
4 thin slices wholegrain sourdough rye bread
1 bunch radishes (approx. 15), sliced
1 lb. / 500 g strawberries, sliced
10 slices of shaved parmesan cheese
1 small handful pea sprouts

Rinse the buckwheat in a sieve with hot water, then rinse well in cold water. Bring the water to boil in a saucepan, then add the rinsed buckwheat. Let gently simmer on low heat for 7-10 minutes. Add sea salt. Remove from heat and let sit for another 7-10 minutes or until tender. Drain any excess water and let slightly cool. Finely chop the parsley and add to the buckwheat together with lemon, oil and honey. Season to taste.
Heat a grill or a large griddle pan and dry grill the asparagus spears on both sides until nicely marked and soft. Toast the rye bread slices on both sides on the grill (or griddle pan) until nicely marked and slightly crispy. Slice the asparagus spears into bite size pieces and drizzle generously with lemon juice and oil. Break the crispy bread into smaller pieces. Thinly slice radishes and strawberries. Place the parsley marinated buckwheat in a serving bowl, arrange asparagus, radishes and strawberries over and scatter with crispy rye bread, shaved parmesan and pea sprouts.

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45 Comments

  • What a vibrant salad with all the flesh flavors of spring!!! I sometime toast the buckwheat groats for 5 minutes prior to cooking because my kids do not like their strong flavor, which actually adds a nice "nutty" taste + the cooking time on low is 15 to 18 minutes. Of course, you could purchase them pre-toasted at the store labeled as "kasha". Have you ever tried to soak the groats first to decrease the amount of cooking time or to sprout them for a RAW version? David, have fun transitioning into your spacious home, just think of it as new happy memories to be made with your soon-to-be family of 4! :-)
  • Congrats on the new home, and best of luck! Finding a new place is always such a struggle...I'm currently going through the process, and X-ing a lot along the way due to lack of natural light. Got to have that sunlight. I'm sure it'll feel like a relief once you're all settled in!
  • marlies
    I LOVE buckwheat in salads!! I will have to give this a try - it looks fantastic. I have all the ingredients except rye bread, but fortunately there's an amazing sourdough bakery a block away from me that makes a fantastic sourdough sprouted rye on weekends. I'll just have to be patient until then :)
  • Oh, the salad looks perfect! And I have all the ingredients! (although our rye bread is suerly different, but still utterly delicious) I wanted to stay in a one-room appartment when my daughter was born but my SO convinced me to move to a house, and I regretted it ... (Isolation!) But yes, with two little ones you need more space. I wish you to adapt well to the new place, and especially Elsa to new room!
  • I haven't had radish for ages.. this salad looks so colorful and flavorful!
  • Denise
    Good Luck on the move, I think you may be glad for the bigger place once your new little one arrives!! I am sure your photographs will be wonderful no matter where you take them, I sooo look forward to them all!!
  • Looks so lovely and fresh, perfect for these sunny April weeks. Good luck in settling to your new apartment, I'm sure it will be wonderful!
  • I absolutely love your stories, and what you call rambling is anything but in my mind. I also very much look forward to following along as your new life unfolds in a new house and how you decide to renovate your non-functional kitchen. I'm sure the house will grow on you. :-) Love the idea of asparagus, strawberry, and radish combo. I haven't quite warmed up to buckwheat outside of toasted in granola, as I didn't grow up with that bold flavor. But can think of a number of things to sub in its place!
  • Hello! Beautiful blog and images. I am a photographer, and love your processing! I was wondering what you do to the images and if there's a certain preset you use? Love them! Shannon
  • Loved this post, you two. Can't wait to see your new space and what you do with that kitchen.
  • Don't worry, it takes little ones no time at all to scuff up those new floors. ;) Beautiful recipe... think I could sub winter wheat berries for the groats? Seems like it might work, and I have a surplus of them.
  • This looks delicious and such beautiful photos. Best Of luck scratching those floors :) www.dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com
  • Claudia
    Good to know you decide to grow up a bit and give Elsa some space to grow too... She will adore to sleep alone. Love buckwheat in tabouleh, instead of wheat.. buckwheat is so versatile...
  • This looks so beautiful, the strawberries really pop! I just happen to have bought buckwheat groats recently, without a clue what I was going to do with them --- now I know!
  • Emily
    Imperfect home - I love it! I also like buckwheat porridge but have never tried it in a salad. It sounds like a brilliant idea. And it looks so good!
  • I love this post so much! I feel the same way about big homes - a little apartment can be the perfect space. Buuuuuut we need to expand sometimes, and that can be a good thing too. Wishing you guys all the best in your big move! Totally crushing on this salad, btw ;)
  • Best of luck making the new place a home--crib and all. This salad looks divine!

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