December 13, 2011

Toasted buckwheat and beetroot salad

I am quickly discovering all the necessities around my new neighbourhood - the rock pool by the sea where I can do my morning laps, the perfect-length running tracks, the yoga classes (although I've now been practising at home) and of course the farmers markets and the nearest organic and health food stores. When we were still inspecting units, the real estate agents often tried to sell the property by its proximity to take away places, restaurants, bars and what have you. I always felt like asking "but where's the nearest farmers markets and organic shops?" 

Last Sunday, I started my morning with a walk and yoga on the beach while the sun was rising. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect setting. After that I dipped into the salt water pool by the beach to do a few laps before heading back home for breakfast. After breakfast, I visited the farmers markets in a near by neighbourhood and stocked my fridge full of  gorgeous veggies. 

This buckwheat and beetroot salad combines a lot of flavours from home. Buckwheat is a very commonly used ingredient especially in the Russian cuisine and from there it has probably found its way to Finnish kitchens as well. This time I've toasted the buckwheat with some caraway seeds until the kernels are crisp and nutty. They are beautiful with the sweet beetroot and the simplest of seasoning of a good drizzle of fresh lemon and some extra-virgin olive oil. A celebration of simple flavours!

Toasted buckwheat and beetroot salad
(recipe inspired by the Organic Food Festival)

200g raw buckwheat kernels
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
 200g coarsely grated raw beetroot
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Toast the buckwheat and caraway on a dry frying pan for about 10 minutes or until the kernels are starting to have little brown spots on them. Keep stirring the kernels with a wooden spoon so they won't burn. 

2. Combine the toasted kernels with the grated beetroot and season the salad with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve while still fresh and crunchy.


  1. Just the kind of salad I'd enjoy any day!



  2. I would never have thought of doing this: toasting buckwheat. This salad must be great. Have to try it!

  3. Your new neighbourhood sounds like a dream! Better than a cramped inner-city apartment huh?? :)

  4. Scrummy! Love the deep colour to it as well.

  5. I will absolutely be trying this - I love buckwheat groats! I'm assuming the beetroot is cooked...?

  6. Wonderful post Maria...I love the necessities. Can you post a photo of the rock pool? It sounds amazing. As amazing as this simple dish!

  7. Isn't the buckwheat too crunchy that you only toasted and not cooked it?

    It looks yummie anyway!

  8. Glad to hear that you're settling in well. The buckwheat and beetroot look magnificent together!

  9. This looks delicious, and perfectly red coloured for the Christmas season!! Glad you are settling into your new home. x

  10. Interesting salad... It looks like you don't cook the buckwheat?

  11. Thank you all!

    Zita and Janet, the buckwheat is cooked only by toasting it which makes it just perfectly crunchy!

    Poppykettle: Beetroot is raw too. This salad is all about the crunch! :-)


  12. This looks so healthy...and I've been wanting more beets in my life!
    Beets are an amazing blood purifier! Can always need that! :)

  13. Looks good. Simple to make! Have momentarily lost my 'marbles': 'buckwheat' = 'kasha'? Shall investigate and certainly try!!

  14. Yum! Just found your blog and love it ... I grew up having Finnish Christmas in Tropical North Queensland! Karelian pies and wine with ice cubes!

  15. This looks divine! Perfect for Christmas :)

  16. festive & I love beetroot. Hoping you have a wonderful Christmas. :)

  17. What a pleasure to discover your blog ! I do like your recipes, and your pictures.
    My favourite winter salad is apple/beetroot. (yes, it is winter in France ^^)
    Following your example, I have added some toasted buckweat in, it was great ! Deliciously crunchy !
    And my guests were quite surprised, because here we traditionally eat buckweat in the form of flour.
    Thank you for this nice idea !


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