Buckwheat makes a great alternative to rice in risottos. Its filling, not as heavy, packed full of fibre, vitamins and minerals, provides a slow release of energy and only takes 15 minutes to cook! Plus, it still has that soft, creamy consistency of a typical risotto. Despite its name, buckwheat is completely gluten and wheat free and totally delicious. If you’ve not cooked buckwheat before, don’t be scared of it, it’s so simple, like cooking pasta. This recipe uses courgette and aubergine roasted in cumin and smoked paprika, stirred into the buckwheat with a tomatoey pesto sauce. It’s so tasty and comforting, yet so nourishing for the body. It may look like a lot of ingredients but that’s because each one gives this dish wonderful flavours which complement one another perfectly. Also, it only takes half an hour to make from start to finish! A vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free yummy dins for any day of the week!
200g Cherry Tomatoes
2 tsp Ground cumin
1 tsp Smoked paprika
1 tsp Garlic granules, or 1 clove
1 tsp rosemary, fresh or dried
Few tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Passata
1 tbsp Tomato puree
2 tbsp Vegan Basil Pesto (check out my Ultimate Vegan Pesto)
Handful of chopped coriander/basil
150ml Dairy-free milk (coconut or oat works well)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Fresh Rocket to serve, optional
- Preheat the oven to 190 C fan.
- Chop up the courgette, aubergine and tomatoes into bite sized pieces and place in a roasting tray with the cumin, paprika, garlic, rosemary and oil.
- Mix everything together until all the veg is coated in the oil, herbs and spices. I like to use my hands for this. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the buckwheat. Place it in a sieve and rinse with cold water until the water comes through clear.
- Place the buckwheat in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water.
- Let it boil for a few minutes then turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- I like to keep testing it as it simmers to ensure it doesn’t overcook, a bit like pasta. It should be cooked through with a slight bite to it but not soggy or mushy.
- For the sauce, combine the passata, tomato puree, pesto, coriander, milk and a squeeze of lemon juice in a saucepan and gently heat.
- When the buckwheat is cooked, drain the remaining water and briefly set aside.
- When the veg is cooked, tip them into the buckwheat and stir through along with the warm pesto sauce.
- Put back on the heat for a few minutes while the sauce is absorbed, stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick. Season with salt and pepper.
- When everything is heated through and become thick and creamy, take off the heat and serve.
- You can use any roasted veg you like: peppers, onion, sweet potato, butternut squash. Olives and sundried tomatoes are also nice.