My friend Alissa and I served this Russian inspired salad at our recent supper-club collaboration. We hosted a two-night pop-up under the railway arches at the Hackney distillery, Our London. It’s a beautiful space and the evenings were balmy. Alissa dressed the tables exquisitely, with candles, fairy lights, and linen.
This nutty and wholesome salad was served on the tables, alongside our charred carrot main course. We chose to use a combination of toasted and untoasted buckwheat to boost the overall flavour, but either one will do very well on its own.
This recipe serves 4 people, approximately, as part of a wider selection of salads.
½ cup toasted buckwheat (kasha)
½ cup buckwheat groats
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons pickle brine
4 heaped tablespoons of dill pickles
1 very large handful of dill
1 very large handful of parsley
1 very large handful of mint, optional
Bring two saucepans of salted water to simmer. Add the toasted buckwheat to one and the un-toasted in the other. The toasted buckwheat will take 8-10 minutes to cook, and the un-toasted 12-14. Drain the buckwheat once cooked, and spread it out on a plate or two, covered with kitchen paper, to cool off and dry out as much as possible.
Meanwhile, finely chop the herbs.
Very simply, mix together the cooked and cooled buckwheat, the herbs, and the dill pickles. Dress the salad generously with olive oil, lemon juice and several tablespoons of the pickle brine, which is pack with layers of flavor, great acidity, and probiotic goodness.