Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegetarian
“What are those bulb things you’re slicing?”
“You’ve never seen fennel? It looks like celery and tastes like liquorice.”
– Ken Jennings, Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs
It’s hard to emphasize enough how sweet and subtle and delicious this is. We guarantee it will become a staple in your kitchen once you’ve cooked it once. What’s more, it’s super easy to make (not even any onions to chop!) and is impressive enough for dinner parties. It’s a beautifully light, and ideal comfort food whatever the weather. As the buckwheat has already been soaked, you will not need as much stock to stir into this as a standard risotto.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE: CLEANSING
A recipe to please people plagued by Coeliac disease or those who simply have a wheat intolerance. Buckwheat is, in fact, wheat free and gluten free. Evidence suggests that it might be helpful in the management of diabetes thanks to a component called chiro-inositol, which has been shown in animal and human studies to play a significant role in glucose metabolism and cell signalling. Buckwheat has also been found to reduce cholesterol levels, whilst its rich magnesium content helps to promote blood vessel relaxation and blood circulation. No wonder the Russians were raised on it! The fennel and the walnuts add a sweet crunchiness to this otherwise risotto-consistency-like dish. Both ingredients provide anti-inflammatory benefits – the fennel because of flavonoids like rutin and quercetin, and the walnuts because of their omega 3 essential fatty acid content.
Yield:Makes four portions
- 500g of soaked Buckwheat (soak for 1 to 2 hours, or night before) and rinse
- 800g Fennel, peeled, chopped finely
- 1 large Leek, chopped finely
- Olive Oil for cooking Leek and Fennel
- 2 tbsp Walnut Oil for adding at the end
- 10 Walnuts, roughly chopped or broken into halves
- 200-300ml stock (or as needed)
- 1 pack Organic Feta
- 1 tsp fresh Thyme, leaves removed from stems
- Heat olive oil in a pan and add leeks and fennel, stirring continously to prevent over-browning.
- Add thyme and stir in before adding the buckwheat and a small amount of stock. Keep adding stock until the buckwheat has swollen and is still al dente to the taste.
- Take off the heat, add walnut oil a drizzle at a time, and crumble the feta cheese over the top. Stir in to meld the walnut and feta flavours, and dot with walnuts before serving. Divine!