Buckwheat Kasha Salad with Halloumi Cheese

This recipe is taken from The Wheat and Dairy Free Cookbook by Terence Stamp & Elizabeth Buxton.

Buckwheat is used extensively in Russian cuisine. Buckwheat contains more than 13 per cent protein and has a high amino acid content. Toasted and cooked like this it adds a nutty taste to any dish. Halloumi is a traditional white, semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese.

  • 1 halloumi cheese
  • A little all-purpose wheat-free flour for dusting

For the Kasha Salad:

  • Buckwheat – 225 g (8 oz)
  • Olive oil – 4 tbsp
  • Water – 1 litre (1¾ pint)
  • Mint, finely chopped – 55 g (2 oz)
  • Flat parsley, chopped – 55 g (2 oz)
  • Finely sliced spring onion/scallion – 4 tbsp
  • Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced – 300 g (10½ oz)
  • Lemon juice – 4 tbsp
  • Black pepper
  • Pumpkin seeds – 75 g (3 oz)

Rinse the buckwheat in plenty of cold running water. Drain thoroughly. Put half the olive oil in a saucepan, add the buckwheat and fry, stirring until toasted and golden. Be careful not to burn. Pour in the water, cover and simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 5 minutes. If there is sediment on the grains, rinse again under running water.

Put the remaining ingredients except the pumpkin seeds in a bowl and mix well. Leave to stand.

Heat a heavy non-stick frying pan/skillet. Do not add any oil. When hot put in the pumpkin seeds and shake over a high heat until the seeds start to ‘pop’. Remove from the pan and put on a plate. Sprinkle these over the kasha salad just before serving.

Slice the cheese lengthways to a thickness of about 1 cm/½ in, dust with a little flour and dry-fry in a non-stick pan until the cheese is a rich caramel brown. Serve with the kasha salad.

Serves 4 as a main meal

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