Buckwheat Groats (Kasha) with Vermicelli and Fall Vegetables

Buckwheat groats

Buckwheat groats, or kasha, lend an invigorating texture and assertive flavor to this enticing fall grain dish. Think of this as a more colorful and contemporary version of kasha varnishkes.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (kasha)
  • 15- to 16-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 cup raw vermicelli (thin spaghetti), broken into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into narrow 2-inch-long strips
  • 1/2 medium jicama, peeled and cut into 1 /2-inch dice
  • 1 cup firmly packed finely shredded green cabbage
  • 2 medium leeks, light parts only, chopped and well-rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat half of the oil in a large skillet. Add the groats and stir quickly to coat them with the oil. Toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they turn darker and aromatic. Pour the broth over the groats and bring to a simmer.

Simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the grind of the groats.

Cook the vermicelli separately until just al dente, then immediately rinse with cool water.

Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the red pepper, turnip, jicama, cabbage, and leeks, and stir-fry over medium heat until tender-crisp.

Stir in the cooked groats and vermicelli along with the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 10 to 12 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add just a bit of water. Serve at once.

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