New Place, New Ingredient

Yep, it happened. I moved out of my studio. My beloved studio. It was time to make the move. All in all, I ended up with a bedroom (!), a garbage disposal (!), and a rooftop pool. And so much more... the new place is

So, new place, new ingredients? Why not. My dad came to town this past week, and my sister and I decided we needed to make a fabulous birthday meal for him in our new place. We landed on grass fed burgers so we could fire up the new grills on the rooftop, and I was left thinking about a summery side dish. Corn, dill, green beans. Yes to all the above. But in what? Now, I love my quinoa just like the rest of you. But sometimes I get sick of it. I went on a journey to the market to find a new grain-like ingredient for salads. I ended up with buckwheat.

Buckwheat is actually not a grain, but like quinoa or chia, a seed. I was up for the challenge and did a little research before making the salad. The ingredient is used in many Eastern European and Jewish recipes. I'm no pro on the history or common usage, but I think I'm on to something here. More commonly referred to as kasha in recipes, this nutty seed is a great alternative to quinoa, pastas and other grain-like based dishes.

My version of kasha salad focused on seasonal, local ingredients I had in the fridge. Hope you all enjoy!

Spicy Summer Kasha Salad

1 1/2 cups buckwheat groats
3 cups water
1 shallot (diced)
1 large handful fresh green beans (trimmed, halved and steamed in salty water)
3 ears sweet corn
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
olive oil
for the vinaigrette:
1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
1/4- 1/2 cup olive oil
3 green onions (chopped)
2 tbsp fresh dill (rough chop)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Submerge the corn in water for about an hour before you begin the rest. This helps the corn not to burn when you throw it on the grill.

For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, green onions, dill, mustard and salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Let cook for 5 minutes, until shallots are soft.

Add the buckwheat to the pan and coat in oil and shallots. Let cook for about 3 minutes. Add the water, a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the buckwheat is soft.

Meanwhile, heat your grill over medium-high heat. Add the soaked corn in their husks to the grill. Let cook for about 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly. Peel the husks back and put back on the grill for about 5 minutes, so that the corn chars up a bit. Don't let it sit too long, or it will dry out. This technique allows the corn to steam in the husk, but then get the great grilling char on the kernels. Cut the kernels off the stalk.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked buckwheat, steamed green beans, vinaigrette and corn. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste, and serve! The dish is delicious both warm and cold.

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