Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

I'm finishing up my series on ancient grains with a buckwheat salad. Buckwheat, because of its name, is sometimes confusing to people.

Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad
Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

Buckwheat is not Wheat

Buckwheat isn't actually a grain. In fact, buckwheat has no relation to wheat at all. It's really a seed, and the plant is a relative of rhubarb. However, it is very similar to a grain, so it usually gets included in that category.

Buckwheat is ideally suited for gluten-free diets, and is often milled into flour. Japanese soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour, and you have probably had buckwheat pancakes at some point. Personally, I love buckwheat groats as a hot breakfast cereal mixed with oats, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. (Serious breakfast yum)

Buckwheat is Still an ancient grain

Like other ancient grains, buckwheat cultivation dates back to ancient times. It's been a staple in many cultures over the ages, and grows all over the world, from Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe, to North and South America. Most people, throughout the world, have access to it, locally. Which is a wonderful thing. Also, It's a fast growing crop and very disease resistant, so farmers don't have to use pesticides and other chemicals. This makes it a very sustainable food crop, for the world.

Why We Need Buckwheat in our Diets

This “grain” is packed with nutrients, and it's also high in fibre and is a complete protein. Not bad for a humble seed, right?  Also, some research says that this humble seed can be helpful for people with diabetes in keeping blood sugar levels healthy. For more on that, as well as other health benefits of this dynamo seed, check out Buckwheat May Help Manage Diabetes on WebMD.

The Mediterranean Diet Makes So Much Sense

I'm using the hulled seed, or groats, in this Mediterranean salad. They cook quickly, unlike many other grains, and have a delicious toasty flavour, which is a great backdrop for the vegetables in this salad. The cooked groats are very light and fluffy in comparison to the denseness of many other grains. I love the texture. You can substitute buckwheat for white rice in any dish. And, it cooks faster and has quadruple the nutrition, so why wouldn't you?

You can serve this salad as a side dish, but it's hearty enough for the main, too. The protein content makes it a meal in itself.

I hope you enjoyed my exploration of only just a handful of the incredible variety of ancient grains. If you haven't been following along, you can check out the other recipes here: Farro Risotto with Winter Squash; Broccoli Bulgur Pilaf; and Mushroom Barley Soup. Tune in again this spring, because I have plans for more posts on some of the many other ancient grain varieties. And, please, let me know what you're cooking with grains. I love to hear your comments, ideas, and thoughts!

Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad
Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

How To Make Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

5 from 1 vote
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Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 215 kcal
Author: Colleen
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup cucumber chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, bring buckwheat and water to a boil
  2. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and let stand covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool
  4. Combine cooled groats with tomato, cucumber, olives, and bell pepper in a salad bowl
  5. in a small bowl,whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and oregano
  6. Pour dressing on salad and toss to combine
  7. Garnish with parsley and feta cheese, if using
Recipe Notes

This salad is vegan unless you add feta cheese.

Nutrition Facts
Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 772mg 32%
Potassium 228mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 34.5%
Vitamin C 59.6%
Calcium 11.9%
Iron 5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad
Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

*This post contains an affiliate link. If you click on it and end up buying the product, I will receive a small commission. Which helps a little with the costs of running The Food Blog, so that I can keep sharing awesome recipes with you. I only endorse products that I use and love myself.

6 thoughts on “Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

  1. You know, I’ve only ever cooked with buckwheat flour, so this is something I definitely need to try. I love these kinds of salads for lunch!

  2. Dishes like this make me wish that my husband ate olives! I love love buckwheat, but always fail to think (or find) unique salads and entrees. Thank you for this inspirational dish!

    1. You’re welcome, Amanda. I feel that exact same way about eggplant. My husband won’t eat it, but I love it. You can leave out the olives in this salad, though. A great replacement could be pickled artichokes, or capers.

  3. What a great salad idea! I love salads that don’t always use leafy greens, just something to switch it up once in a while! Using the Mediterranean theme helps make it more familiar as well! I must try this soon.!

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