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.