This recipe is from Maria Speck’s Ancient Grains for Modern meals.
Maria’s background interested me: She is from a Greek mother and a German father; and is married to an Indian. The challenges of coping with contrasting cultures (and the resulting richness) makes for an interesting cookbook, which is a synthesis of these influences.
The recipes are often unusual but Maria Speck has impeccable taste.
As Lebanese we were fed whole-grains (bulgur, primarily) from the time we were teething! However, we did not experience the other grains, like buckwheat!
I have to admit, I did mutter during the making of this recipe, ” Maria, what are you making me do here?”; when these buckwheat groats are boiled, their scent is similar to what you would experience walking into a farm, like, in medieval times.
A miracle occurs after all the spices and herbs are added. That scent disappears completely. Instead, you are tasting something light, a bit nutty, meaty, comforting. Delicious!
Mary, my neighbor, was called in to taste. She loved them, but was convinced they had turkey in them; she had two servings.
Here is the idea of the recipe: You boil the buckwheat groats. You make a pesto. You combine part of the pesto with the buckwheat and some onion, feta and egg, and bind all of this with some oatmeal. Shape into burgers, fry them and eat them with additional pesto, some tomato slices, onion and a bun.
I got tired of shaping the burgers (plus they were falling apart), so I made a cake instead. Much easier, and a lot faster.
INGREDIENTS: Makes 12 burgers or a 9-inch cake pan with 8 to 10 servings
- 1 cup raw buckwheat groats (not kasha)
- 1 3/4 cup of water
- Dash of salt
Parsley sauce ( I made a basil pesto)
- 1 cup of Italian parsley ( I used basil)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Oregano (1 tsp.), red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp.) ( I used Aleppo pepper, 1 tsp.), Tabasco sauce (a few drops)
- 3 Tablespoons of olive oil (I used a lot more!)
- 4 ounces of Feta, crumbled (mild Feta, from Greece if possible)
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion
- 1/2 cup of instant oat flakes ( I used 1 cup of rice flour)
- 1 large egg, beaten (I added 2 extra eggs to make the cake)
- Spices: Thyme (2 Tbs.), paprika (1 tsp.), dash of black pepper and red pepper flakes
- Olive oil, as needed
- Boil the buckwheat with the water and salt till cooked.
- Process the parsley or basil sauce until pasty, add more olive oil if desired
- Combine the buckwheat with the onion, feta, oatmeal or rice flour, spices and egg. Form the burgers, or pour the batter in an 9-inch cake pan, previously lined with parchment paper and greased all around.
- Bake the buckwheat cake in a 350F oven or fry the burgers in a little oil, 4 minutes on each side. Serve with the herb sauce and some tomato slices, onion slices and pita or a hamburger bun. Enjoy!
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