Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad

Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.
We do not need to eat animals, wear animals, or use animals for entertainment purposes, and our only defense of these uses is our pleasure, amusement, and convenience.
— Gary L. Francione

Spring is such an exciting time! It's warm enough to relax outside on the deck, basking in the warm glow of the early summer sun with Todd and a cup of coffee in the mid-afternoon. My runs are less of a "snow-storm" inspired look and more normal... just running tights and a long sleeve shirt, sans hat and scarf of course. The bright green budding leaves begin to cast interesting shadows, peeking in through the windows of our home making us feel as if we live in a treehouse and the bedroom windows are cracked open all night for a cooling breeze. 

Todd and I are thrilled to be spending the first spring in our new home. Last year at this time we were just finishing up clearing the land. Even though the super hard work is behind us we still have a lot to do! Gutters, stairs up to the doors, leveling out the 800 foot driveway, planting crabapple and lilac trees (and raised beds for a garden), building a greenhouse and woodshed, as well as putting in a lawn in. Todd's excited to slack line and throw the frisbee and I can't wait to set up a reading hammock and be able to play in the grass with the pups! So much work to do, but so exciting! #summergoals

Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.
Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

I received a bunch of asparagus in my CSA box and saw I had some fresh cherry tomatoes juicy red and plump for the picking on my little indoor tomato plant; I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Buckwheat is rather new to do me and I love experimenting with it, so I decided to use it in place of quinoa. Here, I incorporate it into a salad that's perfect for spring and maybe just the thing to enjoy on the deck while sun napping.

Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad

Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

Published 04/22/2016

Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; roasted asparagus, fresh arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw buckwheat groats (or quinoa)
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh arugula or spinach, chopped
  • 1 lb 8 oz fresh asparagus (about 2 bunches), ends trimmed and chopped to bite size pieces
  • ½ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • ½ large avocado, diced small
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • - Dressing -
  • 1 large lemon, juiced (about ¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pot, bring the groats and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cover; cook for about 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the groats are tender. Remove from heat and transfer to a large serving bowl. Stir in the arugula to wilt.
  2. While the groats cook, arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet in an even layer and roast for about 15-20 minutes until tender. Add to the large serving bowl.
  3. Add the tomatoes, avocado, and basil to the serving bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and stir into the salad with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Serve warm or chilled. Best if consumed within the same day.

Yield: 6

Produce On Parade - Spring Asparagus Buckwheat Salad - Buckwheat groats are a neat alternative to cous cous, quinoa, millet, or rice. They’re most often associated with breakfast but make a wholesome, hearty salad as well! This salad lends an easy, springtime feeling; crisp asparagus, roasted arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocado bath in a basil-lemon dressing.

You didn't think I'd leave you with a picture of this adorable lil monkey would you? I'm not sure what he's doing, but he's super cute! Also, our vet told us that Anouk is at least two and a half years old; not seven months like the adoption agency told us. So that was interesting! He also has a broken upper canine tooth that will need to be removed. Poor baby! Have you ever had a dog that had to have a fang removed? I'm so worried!

Produce On Parade

So I know I am totally the last one aboard this train but, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, is totally amazing! I'm almost done with the book. Have you read it?

Glass Noodle Primavera

Spring won't emerge here in Alaska for quite some time. However, the fact that we have no snow to speak of, longer days, and the warmth from the the sun intensifying has forced me to think about it. Springtime. It'll be a tad bittersweet for Todd and I. There's so much to look forward to this summer. I'll be a bridesmaid in two weddings. Two very important weddings, and I couldn't be more excited to spend those specials days with my very best of friends. I can't wait to run outside in the sun again with Todd now that he's doing better because of our lifestyle change veganism, with regards to his arthritis. I'm looking forward to doing more backpacking this summer, and I can't wait to forage in the springtime. My brandnew foraging and gathering books have been collecting dust since the fall. Also, super exciting, our veganiversary and Produce On Parade's one year birthday are in April! Oh, and my birthday too, let's not forget.

However, it'll also be a bit of a downer. We'd hoped to definitely be building this spring, but it looks like we'll have to wait another entire year. It wouldn't be such a horrible thing, but we happen to be living in the teensiest, tiniest house that is literally crumbling. I'm not kidding. The stone tiles are breaking and the grout is crumbling away only to get stuck in our cordless POS vacuum or eaten by Bob. The roof was completely replaced last fall, but our wind storm in January ripped a good chunk of it off and the landlord refuses to fix it until April. Happy Birthday me? "Text me if it starts leaking." Seriously, that was her instruction. I'm not making this up. The porch is rotting wood that's no longer nailed together and bounces up and down and when stepped on. It was supposed to be replaced into a concert porch last summer...yea, that didn't happen. All this, among many other things.

Regrettably and most importantly, it also postpones our family planning. At this rate we'll be 40 before we have our first child! So, there's my sad story. I hope it made you feel better about your situation. Just teasing. I know we're lucky to live in Alaska, let alone with a roof over our head! Truely. I've slept in my car more than a few times. Apparently it's frowned upon to sleep in your car with a 90 lb. dog during winter at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Just sayin'. Don't park at the art building, the cops will find you. Who knew? Parks are also off limits. I recommend the grocery store parking lot.

Yet, one always has to see the silver lining. We'll be able to save up more for our down payment and not feel one bit rushed. We'll also have the opportunity to really fine tune our house plans and develop a good strategy plan. Besides, I know it will happen one day. 

How does this all tie into today's recipe? Spring! As promised in this post...more GLASS NOODLE! Glass Noodle Primavera to be specific. Primavera means spring in Spanish. 

Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle PrimaveraIf there's anything that could cheer me up food wise, besides chocolate let's be real, it'd be this bright and sunny glass noodle vegetable dish. It's a bit of a twist on pasta primavera. Still flourishing with crisp, fresh spring vegetables but glass noodles replace regular pasta and drenched instead in an Asian sesame sauce. 

You won't see my cherry tomatoes in the photographs because I am total space cadet and I completely forgot to add them at the end. Never fear, I stirred them in after I took all the photos. Go figure. Sometimes things just don't go as planned. 

Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle Primavera

Glass Noodle Primavera 

Serves 6

Notes: It's a good idea to do the prep work for the vegetables before starting. However, wait to chop the fresh herbs as they can darken if left chopped for an extended period of time. I like to cook the noodles last. They only need to sit in hot water for about 5 minutes. 

  • Sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Vegetables:
  • 2 cups fresh sugar snap peas, halved on the diagonal
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded 
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chiffonaded 
  • 1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  • fresh sprouts, for garnish (optional)
  • Noodles:
  • 9 oz. mung bean thread noodles, dry

First, bring a large pot of salted water to boil for blanching the vegetables.

Now make the sauce by whisking all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, dissolving the sugar. Set aside until ready to use. 

Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle Primavera

Once the water is boiling, add the sugar snap peas, edamame, and the green peas. Submerge for about 1 minute, then drain the vegetables and rinse them under very cold water until they're chilled. Alternatively, they could be plunged into an ice bath. Drain and set aside. 

Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle Primavera Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle PrimaveraBring about 4 cups of water to a boil in a tea kettle. Place the dried noodles in a large bowl and submerge in the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside until ready to use. 

Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle PrimaveraMeanwhile, in a large wok or frying pan, heat the olive oil over low. Add the sesame seeds and the garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the cooked noodles and the sauce. Stir well to coat to noodles. Add the blanched vegetables, tomatoes, and the fresh herbs. Cook only until heated through. 

Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle Primavera Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle Primavera Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle PrimaveraServe warm with fresh sprouts on top. 

Produce On Parade - Glass Noodle Primavera

Listening to: My jam about six years ago, Duffy – Warwick Avenue.

German Word of The Day: Spring --> Frühling (pronounced: frooh-ling)

Good Deed of The Day: Ummm, all I have to say about this one is WTF? Sign this petition to remove humane officer that shot kittens in front of children. This happened in Ohio!

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