Last Updated on October 11, 2021
Do you like buckwheat? I typically eat it as in the noodle form, so called soba noodles. Buckwheat Groat Salad with Lemon Tahini Sauce is a new take on my buckwheat adventure! It’s a kind of “accidentally” Mediterranean inspired salad, if you will, but made simple. The earthy taste of buckwheat groats work very well with the creamy and lemony tahini based dressing. This healthy salad is vegan, gluten-free, and no refined oil (added oil) used!
The Buckwheat Groat
When it comes to my style of cooking, “healthy” isn’t really the main focus. Don’t get me wrong! Although I don’t consider myself a health conscious vegan, 99% of what I eat and cook is certainly not junk food or heavily processed food. But from time to time, I find myself eating too much pasta, using too much oil, and consuming not enough whole grains and variety of produces. That’s when my mind shifts to craving something healthier using no-processed or less processed ingredients.
I often use quinoa for a healthier grain option although quinoa is technically not grains rather seeds. So this time, I ventured out to incorporate this buckwheat from Eden Foods.
I’m not hesitant about what to make with buckwheat noodles, a.k.a soba noodles which is typical Japanese ingredients that I’m familiar with. But when it comes to the groats, surprisingly , I’d never even thought of incorporating to my daily cooking. So, I tried it with this recipe. The result? It was pretty good! They are nutty, somewhat earthy, and as easy as preparing rice (←as an Asian person, this is important. lol.) I can see it could be a great alternative as a healthier grain option. If you haven’t tried yet, you may want to give it a chance!
Here is the list of ingredients for this recipe.
- Hulled Buckwheat
Lemon Tahini Sauce
- Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Yellow Onion
I kept the ingredients as minimum as possible. I also like cooking with what I already have so you may find it too simple. Although this turn out to be somewhat Mediterranean with the use of tahini, lemon, raw onion, and parsley, it doesn’t have the typical ingredients like garlic, olives, mint, or other spices. If you happen to have those additional ingredients in your pantry and fridge, that would be a great idea! But my simplified version is still delicious enough.
The Tips & The Suggestions
Here are some notes that may be helpful!
Cooking Buckwheat Groats
Since it’s my first time cooking buckwheat, I’d checked the cooking instructions on the package. It’s safe to say that it’s the same method as cooking quinoa or white rice. The instruction recommends 2 cups water for 1 cup buckwheat. Here is the thing, most rice and quinoa cooking instructions have the same ratio which is 2:1 for water to grain. I find this as too much liquid so I typically go for 1.5 part water to 1 part grain which usually works perfectly for me. So did the same for this buckwheat as well. As a result, it came out fine although it was a bit mushier than I expected but may be that’s just how it is. I need to experiment more on this to find the perfect ratio and the method that works for my preference.
For this salad, it’s very important to rinse under running water to remove starch, after cooking the buckwheat. No one wants starchy grains in salads!
About the Sauce
You may realize that the consistency of the lemon tahini sauce is too thick. Don’t worry! After mixing it with the cooked buckwheat and other veggies, it will be thinner from the water content of the buckwheat and the natural juice from the veggies.
As mentioned in the ingredients, you can add minced garlic (or garlic paste) to the sauce as an option to give more garlicky taste. Other suggested options for the salad are olives, capers, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, fresh mint leaves, dill, and spices like cumin.
Typically, I intentionally make a large batch when I make salads like this. I made this recipe enough for 4 servings but it’s only for me and Peter (my husband) so there were some leftovers.
Here is what I noticed. When we ate the leftovers 5-6 hours later, the texture was totally fine. We also ate some the next day (about 24-36 hours later) and it was still fine. But into 48 hours time frame, it started to change. The presence of the starch was very noticeable. It was not spoiled but the texture was undesirable, at least for my preference.
So I recommend consuming within the same day or by the next day. Or make smaller serving size or just enough to finish it all once and have no leftovers!
What I really liked about this salad is the combination of the nutty & earthy taste of buckwheat with the creamy & tangy lemon tahini sauce. The raw onion gives a nice accent without being too strong, and the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and the freshness of the parsley brightens up the dish. You can keep eating more without feeling guilty! It’s not overly heavy, salty or dense which is perfect for hot summer days. As mentioned in the options, you can play with adding more components (saltiness, acidity, aromas, spices) to give more complex taste.
Try other vegan salad recipes that you may enjoy!
Mushroom Salad with Dill and Ginger Miso Vinaigrette
Buckwheat Groat Salad with Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 1 cup hulled buckwheat
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp salt
Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 medium tomatoes diced
- 3/4 cups diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
- Use a medium pot with a lid, start boiling 1 1/2 cup water for cooking buckwheat.
- In the meantime, prepare the buckwheat. Place buckwheat in a fine mesh colander. Rinse under cunning water and drain well. Set aside.
- Once the water is boiling combine the rinsed buckwheat and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked buckwheat to a fine mesh colander. Rinse under running water to remove starch. Drain very well and leave it in the colander (over the sink or a bowl) for 10-15 minutes to drain completely.
- In the meantime, prepare the sauce. In a medium bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, water, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Whisk together until well blended. Set aside.
- Once the buckwheat is drained completely, transfer to a large bowl. Combine with the sauce, tomatoes, onions, and parsley. Mix well.
- Serve immediately or let it rest in in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before serving.
- Store and consume in the fridge within the same day or by the next day. It gets starchier as it sits. For better taste and texture, it’s best to consume as soon as possible.
- For more kick, add 1 clove of minced garlic (or garlic paste) to the sauce.
- Optionally, add olives, capers, diced cucumbers, and/or fresh mint leaves for additional flavors.