Traditional tomato, almond and saffron sauce is a tapas classic usually served with meatballs. This Quick Tomato and Saffron Buckwheat Risotto recipe uses the sauce to create a deliciously full-flavoured but quick bowl. Activate the buckwheat overnight to speed up the cooking time and help your body absorb the buckwheat’s iron.
I didn’t realise until I started blogging how much bowl food we eat. Last night we ate smashed avocado and kimchi on seeded toast (I highly recommend it) and I had to rummage to find plates, forks and knives. We used knives last night, what a novelty. Bowls are a multi-tasker’s best friend only marginally surpassed by the mobile phone. But since I am a techno-doofus, I will fly the flag for the bowl. Bowls are awesome.
In the years BTE (Before The Elf) I always thought I would be a very together mother, wife and all-around master of the universe when the time came. The time is now and I find my juggling skills are not as honed as I believed they would be; I am not “together mama.” I am “I-can’t-remember-the-last-time-I-washed-my-hair-mama.” Thankfully, I have a beautiful group of equally frazzled friends that remind me to laugh at myself when I get that not-so-super-woman feeling.
Knowing what I now know about parenthood, make that adulthood, I wish I could talk to my twenty year-old self and talk some reality in to her. I’d tell her that’s it’s going to be harder than she imagines. I’d tell her that she is going to screw up and make a mess and that nothing is as she thought. But, I would also tell her that she will survive every fall, every bad hair day and every toddler tantrum. I would tell her that trying to be everything to everyone will only lead to her losing herself and that there is no “right” way to navigate adulthood. There is only her way and that is enough. More than that, it is her beautiful mess and it is wonderful.
And finally, I would tell her about bowls.
Any food only requiring a single utensil and a bowl to eat is a busy person’s best friend. This quick tomato and saffron buckwheat risotto is not only bowl friendly but incredibly quick and delicious too. Buckwheat risotto is one of my favourite “back pocket” recipes whipped out whenever I need something wholesome and fast. It doesn’t hurt that buckwheat is a great iron source when activated with the added bonus being that soaking the groats also reduces the cooking time down to around ten minutes.
This recipe is inspired by a traditional tapas sauce usually served with albondigas (Spanish meatballs). The tomato and saffron work beautifully together while ground almonds thicken and create a gorgeous texture. I cook my buckwheat to al dente even if it means a “wetter” texture; the buckwheat will keep absorbing the sauce even after you take it from the heat so it will be perfect by the time you serve.
With sweet tomato, exotic saffron, fresh parsley and buckwheat, this quick tomato and saffron buckwheat risotto is a high-five dish. You might have food in your hair but you still got a wonderfully aromatic and wholesome meal on the table. Beat that, Super Man.
Tomato and Saffron Buckwheat Risotto
Yield 2-4 serves
Traditional tomato, almond and saffron sauce is a tapas classic usually served with meatballs. This recipe uses the sauce to create a deliciously full-flavoured but quick buckwheat risotto. Activate the buckwheat overnight to speed up the cooking time and help your body absorb the buckwheat’s iron.
- 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 French shallots or 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ can cherry or chopped tomatoes (200ml)
- 50 grams almond meal
- A good pinch of saffron threads
- 2 cups vegan chicken-style (I use Australian Organics stock) or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt to season
- Handful fresh parsley, chopped
- Place the buckwheat groats, water and vinegar in a bowl to activate for at least four hours or overnight. Rinse the groats thoroughly before cooking.
- Place the saffron threads in two tablespoons of hot water for a few minutes before placing the water, threads and almond meal in a food processor and mixing to a paste. Set aside.
- In a wide pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions for three to four minutes or until soft.
- Add the tomatoes, buckwheat groats and stock and stir to combine. Cook for two minutes before adding the almond saffron paste.
- Season well with sea salt and cook on medium heat for another eight minutes or until the buckwheat is al dente. Take the risotto off the heat and stir through the chopped parsley. Allow to sit for a minute or two before serving.