the taste space

Kasha Salad with Roasted Beets and Green Beans in a Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by janet @ the taste space on September 14, 2012

This weekend boasts both the Polish Festival and the Ukrainian festival.

For those keeping score. Rob = Polish. Me = Ukrainian and German.

As a bonus, both sets of our parents will be coming to Toronto to check out the festivals. I mean, they are coming to see us.

How will we manage? Which one to attend? They are reasonably close to each other, so we’ll likely hit up both festivals. The question is who will win the pierogi contest? OK, forget pierogi, I am more interested in kasha these days.

Nothing says more Eastern European than beets and dill, especially with kasha!

Kasha is buckwheat that has been hulled and roasted. As such, it is a darker brown than raw buckwheat. Kasha can be tricky to cook as it can absorb lots of water and turn into mush. Here, I opted to toast it in the oven first, and then cooked it in a 1:2 ratio with water. While the kernels still seemed to explode slightly, they reminded me of coarse bulgur in this salad.

Kasha has a slightly nuttier, stronger flavour but pairs well with beets and dill. I combined some garden-fresh green beans and roasted beets with a lemony dill vinaigrette for a bright early fall salad. Or late summer salad?

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to Simple and In Season and to this month’s Herbs on Saturday.

Kasha Salad with Roasted Beets and Green Beans in a Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette
Adapted from Rebar

5-6 small beets (~2 cups), peeled (alternatively peel them after roasting)
1 cup kasha (toasted buckwheat)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt, divided
2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces

zest and juice from 1 lemon (I got 2 tbsp from this sorry lemon)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp flax oil or oil of choice
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. For the roasted beets, preheat the oven to 425F. Peel and slice/chop the beets into medium-bite-sized pieces, but put all the pieces back together again. Wrap in tinfoil and roast for at least an hour. Roasting times will depend on the size of your beets. They are ready when they are easily pierced with a fork. Be careful when handling the hot beets, because they can easily leak. Set aside to cool.

2. While the beets are roasting, place kasha on a cookie sheet and toast in oven for 5 minutes until toasted and slightly aromatic. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Now, place sunflower seeds on the cookie sheet, and toast for 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

3. Fill a medium saucepan of water with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and blanch the green beans for 2 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and rinse under cool water. Set aside until needed.

4. After the green beans have been removed, add the kasha along with the bay leaves and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, cover and  simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, but keep covered for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.

5. Meanwhile, prepare your dressing, combining lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, dill, mustard, oil, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.

6. Gently toss the roasted beets, blanched green beans, cooked kasha together. Drizzle with dressing just prior to serving and top with toasted sunflower seeds.

Note: If you are making a salad in a jar, I found the beets absorbed most of the dressing, so I recommend layering the green beans first, then the beets. I also added lettuce before I topped it with the kasha and sunflower seeds.

Serves 4.

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16 Responses

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  1. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on September 14, 2012 at 7:30 AM

    Oh have so much fun with both sets of parents this weekend, and of course at which ever festival you choose!

    This sounds delicious. I’ll have to try kasha, yet another thing you’ve cooked that I’ve never used ;)

  2. Katie Bryson (@cookingkt) said, on September 14, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Gosh this looks like a gorgeous and nutritious salad… I feel the urge to try it with some goats cheese! Thanks for linking up to Simple and in Season :-)

  3. Flavors of the Sun said, on September 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    This looks wonderful–pretty and healthy as well. Nice combination of ingredients.

  4. Sofia said, on September 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    I love kasha! It’s been a staple in my family (Ukrainian/Belorussian), yet somehow it never occurred to me to add stuff to it. I’ll definitely give this recipe a try! Toasted buckwheat in available in most grocery stores with Europoean (or kosher, since there’s lots of overlap) sections.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 14, 2012 at 7:27 PM

      Nice! I have found kasha at my local bulk food store, but I will have to check out the European grocers to see if it is any cheaper. I know this is not the typical way to eat kasha but why not go crazy ad substitute it for your favourite grain? :)

  5. Eileen said, on September 14, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Kasha is one grain I have never, ever cooked or eaten–and I have a spouse with Polish heritage. (So holiday dinners did include pickled herring in sour cream, and multiple kinds of kielbasa, but no kasha. ??) Obviously I need to fix this immediately!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      Personally, with my Ukrainian roots, I had never heard or seen it either until I met Rob and his mother introduced it to us. It has an acquired taste but I really like it. :)

  6. laceythevegan said, on September 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Reblogged this on Lacey Loves Food and commented:
    Yum.

  7. Karen @ Lavender and Lovage said, on September 20, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I LOVE this recipe and it is a perfect entry for Herbs on Saturday too….so pretty and yet so healthy – thanks! Karen

  8. Mich - Piece of Cake said, on September 21, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    I have never cooked with buckwheat and have always wondered about it… this recipe looks so great! If I do pick up a pack of buckwheat, I know where to come to.

  9. Kahakai Kitchen said, on September 23, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    I like the pop of color the green beans and beets give this grain salad. Yum!
    Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

  10. […] Janet at The Taste Space – Kasha Salad with Roasted Beets and Green Beans in a Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette – “Nothing says more Eastern European than beets and dill, especially with kasha! Kasha is […]

  11. […] Soup – Smoky Split Pea Soup with Roasted Garlic and Sage – Christmas Eve Borscht (or Barszcz) – Kasha Salad with Roasted Beets and Green Beans in a Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette – Lime-Cilantro Quinoa Corn Salad – Lemon Miso Tofu and Eggplant – Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with […]

  12. […] from The Taste Space posted another seasonal recipe drawing on her Eastern European roots – kasha salad with roasted beets and green beans in a lemon dill vinaigrette, I’d not heard of it but Kasha is buckwheat that has been hulled and […]

  13. […] a literal soggy mess. It took me two years to try again. I tried a different strategy. Next, I baked it first, and cooked it in a 1:2 ratio which was 100x better. The cooked kernels were soft but some partially opened. When I included it […]


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