Buckwheat is a strange thing. If you’re not Celiac it’s very likely that you’ve never tried it before. And to us? Well, it’s our version of rye. It basically the only dark, fibrous grain we can eat.
For me, the first time I tried buckwheat was a memorable disappointment. To give some context, I should explain how Finns relate to rye. It’s one of the “4 Finnish grains”. It’s what Finns talk fondly of in the summer when gazing out over fields of golden grain. It’s the key in their best bread (reikäleipä, “holebread”). Not to oversell the point, but I think with the possible exception of their horrid local candy, Finnish ryebread is the thing that expatriate Finns most miss. And for me? Well, it’s the best bread you can get. Better than the best ciabatta, baguette or croissant. If I could have one free glutenous meal without consequence it’d be a slice of really fresh ruispala and a stout on the side. So you can see I had high expectations. And what does buckwheat taste like? Dirt. There is disappointment in a moment ladies and gents. But all things change. Most of all taste. These days I quite like buckwheat actually.
Recipe from Sophie Dahl:
- 175g buckwheat flour (about 1½C)
- 2t glutenfee baking powder
- 1½T whole seed mustard
- 2T chopped chives
- about 2 handfuls of grated cheddar
- 300ml milk
- 4 eggs
- salt and black pepper
- butter to cook with
As topping you could use anything you like. Creme fraiche and smoked salmon is the best in my humble opinion. For a fully vegetarian option you could go with the traditional Russian blini topping of mushroom salad (basically chopped mushrooms, finely diced onion, sour cream and a little lemon juice). For that you can find many recipes I’m sure, but here is one example (ironically also from a glutenfree vego blog and also with buckwheat blinis ;)
- Mix the dry ingredients, chives, salt, pepper and cheddar.
- Stir in the milk and mustard until well combined.
- Separate the white out of the eggs and beat until firm and fluffy.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the batter so as not to lose the air trapped in the whites.
- Place a pan on a medium high heat and add a knob of butter.
- When the butter has melted and the pan is to temperature add a dollop of batter and cook the blini in exactly the same way as you would make a pancake. Which is to say: flip it when you see small hole appear across the surface of the blini.
- Serve with your favourite topping.