Today I’m sharing a very special and extremely delicious buckwheat salad that’s worthy of being in your weekly rotation . . .
The number of food bloggers that exist in the black hole we call the internet has grown, and continues to grow, expotentially.
And the number of cookbooks? Let’s just say it would be easy to fill a massive library with nothing but cookbooks. I can’t say I mind endlessly browsing through cookbooks, but after a while they all blend together. Titles start to repeat. And my excitement for each “original” recipe dwindles.
I need to be pretty damn inspired by both the commentary and photos in order to bookmark a recipe, let alone take the time and energy to prepare the meal.
There are only about a dozen food bloggers that have captured my attention – convinced me to check back day after day to swoon over their artful recipes and magical photography.
Ashley Melillo, a fellow Chicagoan, and plant-based blogger, is one of those few. Her blog Blissful Basil is authentic, inspired, and beautiful. Ashley makes lively, reliable, veggie-forward recipes that stray far from the stigma of “vegan” food. She used only pure ingredients, and includes many superfoods, but in the most approachable way. Not one of her recipes is forced or contrived, nor does it try to fit into a category of “health” or “diet” food. Most importantly, each recipe reminds me of my passion for plant-based food and it reminds me of the pure joy I experience in the kitchen.
When I first heard that Ashley was writing a cookbook, but heart skipped a beat. Although, I have scaled down on my book collection, I knew this one could not be missed. If it was anything like her blog, I knew I’d have a amazing arsenal of nourishing recipes upon acquiring it.
As I flip through the impressive collection of food in Blissful Basil, I want to make and eat all of it!
On my list of must-makes:
Caramelized Banana Upside Down Oatmeal Bake!!
BBQ Pulled Jackfruit with Cashew Cheddar Cheese + Seeded Ranch Dressing!!!
Flourishing Fiesta with Taco Crumbles, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole + Shiitake Bacon
Enlivened Lemon Bars <3
Not your average vegan food, huh? 😉
Buckwheat, Green Apple, Cranberry & Avocado Salad
Ashley’s Notes: I used local arugula, I diced the apple, added dried cherries instead of cranberries, and added 2 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil in the dressing
1 c raw buckwheat groats
2 c filtered water
1 medium Granny Smith apple
2 cups baby arugula, watercress, or other tender green, leaves and tender stems only
1/3 – 1/2 c dried cranberries
1/4 c pepitas
Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
3-5 tbsp fresh lemon juice (juice of about 2 lemons)
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1-2 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
For the Buckwheat Salad
Add the buckwheat groats to a fine-mesh strainer and thoroughly rinse with cold water. In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed buckwheat and water. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Strain and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.
Transfer the cooked buckwheat to a large nonreactive (i.e. nonmetallic) serving bowl along with the apple, greens, cranberries, and pepitas.
For the Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic (if using), sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. If desired, add the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the salad to brighten the flavors, and liberally season with sea salt and black pepper.
Divide among plates and top with the sliced avocado.
Reprinted from Blissful Basil by arrangement with BenBella Books. Copyright © 2016, Ashley Melillo.