Kasha


If you watch too much television, you would think kasha is only for your breakfast cereal.  You would also believe that that lady in the jeans wanders all over remote areas of the world to find it for you.  You have seen that commercial, right?  If not, just ignore me.
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According to Ferdinand the Great (my husband not one of the Holy Roman Emperors) kasha is widely eaten in Russia.  They just cook it and put butter on it.  Boring. 

Kasha is a whole grain and is also known as buckwheat.  I eat a lot of whole grains.  They make me happy.  Literally.  I do, however, like them jazzed up.  This was my inspiration.

Kasha with Black Beans and Hominy in a Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kasha (buckwheat), cooked (I cook it in chicken or vegetable broth and a little salt for flavor)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can hominy, rinsed and drained (also comes frozen)
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Haas avocado, chopped

Dressing:

  • 1 cup recaito (green sofrito) (or 1 cup chopped cilantro)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco Green Pepper sauce or any hot sauce

Optional Garnishes:

  • queso fresco
  • chopped cilantro
  • lime wedges

Instructions

Cook the buckwheat in chicken or vegetable broth according to package directions.  The type I buy comes in those boil-in-bags, so once the bag is full, I know the kasha is cooked.  You can add the beans and hominy in toward the end of the cooking to heat them up.

Meanwhile, char the poblanos.  You can either broil them, grill them, or char them directly on your gas burner.  I like to “grill” them in on a cast iron grill pan and also toss the tomatoes on there too for a few minutes. Once blackened a little and they start to blister, place them in a bag and let steam about 10 minutes.  When they cool down, the skins should peel off easily.  Remove stem and seeds and chop.

Once the kasha is cooked, drain it and place in a bowl with the beans, hominy, peppers, tomatoes, and avocado.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients, or process in a blender or food processor for a smoother dressing.  You can combine the dressing with the kasha mixture or served it drizzled on top.  Either way, top with whatever garnishes you like.  This is good warm or room temperature.

Serves 4.