A buckwheat stew for a midweek cosy dinner

Not being a vegetarian or a vegan does not mean I don't indulge in dishes that are meat or fish free, based on grains, vegetables and pulses. I particularly like stews that are comprised of veggies, with thick broths where I can mop up crunchy bread, or heady sauces that are wine based. It's something that I really love cooking and eating during the colder months. When the Summer heat comes round, I change these stews for salads, and they do the trick as well. Actually, nothing beats a good old black eyed bean salad. It's kind of a treat for me and my son, seeing hubby is not very fond of black eyed beans. Not that the dish does not work with other beans, actually it goes well with whatever kind of bean you throw my way - except fava beans, I do have to draw the line there, as I cannot stand even the smell of those.

Another thing I'm very particular about is grains. I'm the kind of person who likes to browse through the supermarket aisles in search of different types of grain and grab a few packs to bring home with so I can try them. So far, I don't really like quinoa - is it a grain or a seed, I never know? - but that's the only one that has not made the cut. Haven't tried millet either, don't know if I will enjoy it, but as for all the others I've had around the house, I'm sold, I keep buying them over and over and I like them best in these heavy packed, heady stews I tend to cook with  mostly veggies in it.

So far, the regular ones in my household consist of barley - my personal favourite, cannot get enough of barley, would eat barley even more regularly if the price tag was any lower - buckwheat, bulgur and farro, along with red rice which is really the best rice ever. I think I tend to cook them pretty much the same way, inside stews that have a lot of sauce, except for bulgur which I also cook many times as if it was plain, white rice. There's something about the taste of bulgur that makes me want to eat it cooked only with salt and water so I can better appreciate its flavour.

Recently, I finished off the buckwheat I had around the house, inside the proverbial stew, yes, but this time I wanted something different, with very little broth or sauce. I packed it up with loads of pumpkin, because nothing beats pumpkin in a stew, some mushrooms, carrots and tomatoes for good measure. There may have been quite a few onions thrown in, garlic and cellery too, I believe. There was a leftover pack of frozen veggie mix that got sent into this dish too, it was packed full of flavour with herbs and a good red wine to cook in. This is the kind of comfort food that means midweek dinners to me, when I'm in need of a rest and something that virtually cooks itself off.

So for this one, all you need is:
  • 1 cup of buckwheat
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small red chilli
  • 200 gr pumpkin
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • five or six ripe tomatoes
  • 1 glass of red or white wine
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
  • a small pack of frozen mixed veggies
  • a scatter of your fave herbs - I used bay, rosemary, thyme, basil
  • salt and olive oil
Peel and dice all the veggies. On a large pot, heat up a drizzle of olive oil and gently fry the onions, carrots and garlic in it. Add the pumpkin and let it gain a bit of colour before you add the chopped tomatoes. Allow them to cook for about three minutes, add the mushrooms and the frozen veggies and top it off with the red wine, on high heat. As soon as the alchool has evaporated, add the herbs, the salt and the stock, and bring to a boil. Now throw in the buckwheat, lower the heat, lid on and allow to simmer away on a gentle temp, stirring occasionaly. Check the seasonings when the buckwheat seems nearly done, adjust if needed. Serve warm on a cold night and you won't be sorry.


  1. I love that you've cooked a veggie based meal despite not being a vegetarian.
    As for quinoa I LOVE it, but it always depends on how you serve it I guess. I make a red cabbage salad where I add some quinoa. It adds another extra texture and isn't too overpowering. We also mix it in with normal rice, to get my 7 year old to eat it. Totaly respect your tast buds though ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful Autumnal recipe.
    See you on instagram ;)

    1. ooooh red cabbage salad is to die for, I love red cabbage, use it a lot in stews. do you cook it for the salad or just shred it finely and that's that?

  2. i love vegetarian meals! (even though i am not strictly vegetarian either). i eat a ton of buckwheat because it's consistently the cheapest in bulk (: this stewy, vegetable-y, warm grain salad-ish dish sounds perfect, especially because i have a few mini squash lying around that need a home once cooked!

    1. buckwheat is not very cheap here in Portugal, but I do so love its flavour I always tend to have at least a pack in the pantry

  3. I'm not a vegetarian either, but I sure love vegetarian food. :-) This stew sounds wonderfully nourishing. :-)


Post a Comment