Salade de Sarrasin au Pain d’Epice
Buckwheat has always held a special place in the grain section of my heart, no doubt because of the fabulous galettes de sarrasin we would eat in Brittany when I was growing up.
It is a grain that’s seldom used whole in France, but I like to add it to salads to add more flavor and heft to them. I first made this particular one in the summer, for a delightful picnic on the banks of the Seine, and shared it with my sister and a few friends.
I knew the earthy, nutty taste of buckwheat would do well with a little sweetness and some spices, and I happened to have delicious pain d’épice — the French gingerbread — and a knob of ginger on hand. I also added a variety of finely diced vegetables, to add color and crunch to the softened buckwheat groats.
I have been making it regularly since, and I find it works really well in the fall, too. You can serve it slightly warm then, to make up for the cooler weather.
- 250 grams (1 1/3 cups) buckwheat groats
- 1 tablespoon tomato jam or other tart preserve
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 small carrots, diced finely
- 1/2 cucumber, diced finely
- 2 small tomatoes, diced finely
- 1 thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
- 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) gingerbread (in France, get pain d'épices), diced
- 4 handfuls arugula
- Cook the buckwheat in salted water according to package instructions. Make sure you cook it al dente, as overcooking will make it mushy. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- In a medium salad bowl, whisk together the tomato jam, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Add in the buckwheat, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, ginger, and gingerbread. Toss gently to combine.
- Cover and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and up to a day.
- Serve cool, or slightly warm.