Originally published August 18, 2016. Updated with new images and instructions March 12, 2020.
A gorgeously vibrant bowl of goodness, this green pea buckwheat risotto with mint is a fresh and healthy spin on traditional rice risotto that doesn't forfeit flavour. It's gluten-free, simple to make and look at that colour. Grazie Bella!
I usually write a reasonably lengthy post with my recipes but today I will keep things short and sweet. I have a case of puddle-itis, an often ignored condition where the afflicted "puddles" around without any clear direction or intent. I have puddled today.
I spent two hours at the dog park (two hours!) waffling with other dog parents only shuffling back to the car when they left. I saved and lost the images for this post three times. The final and most telling symptom appeared this afternoon when I realised I had listened to the same song over and over for around six hours.
So, without further pomp and far less babble I give you my Green Pea Buckwheat Risotto with Mint.
This risotto is simple, simple, simple and so delicious. Being a risotto it still takes around 20 to 30 minutes to cook but no stirring. Like a little gift from the kitchen fairies, this dish takes around 10 minutes to prepare and then you walk away.
After the little buckwheat groats have drunken up most of the stock, simply stir in the wonderfully technicolour green pea, spinach and mint mixture. Done.
What is buckwheat and why you should be eating it
Buckwheat groats belong to a food group called pseudocereals. Buckwheat and other pseudocereals, like quinoa and amaranth, are seeds that are consumed as cereals but don't grow on grasses.
Buckwheat is a great and healthy substitute for rice and pastas.
- it has a low glycemic index meaning its carbohydrates break down slower and keeps you feeling fuller longer
- buckwheat groat protein has a better structure than wheat protein with twice the amount of fibre
- it is gluten-free
- it has a high mineral and antioxidant content and
- on a less technical level, they are yum.
How to make a risotto from buckwheat
Making buckwheat risotto is a lot less labour intensive than making rice risotto. In a few steps you will have a healthy, gluten-free, super tasty meal on the table.
- soak the buckwheat groats overnight to soften and activate them, drain and rinse before cooking
- blanch your peas and blend them together with the spinach and mint
- sauté garlic before adding the buckwheat and stock
- add the textured pea and mint mixture and continue cooking until al dente
- eat with gusto!
Can I freeze buckwheat risotto?
Yes, you can. Buckwheat can be easily frozen in a freezer-proof sealed container once it is completely cooled. I do suggest that you slightly undercook the buckwheat as it will continue to absorb liquids as it cools. To re-heat; thaw out the risotto and gently heat it in a pan or in the microwave.
This green pea buckwheat risotto with mint is vibrant in both colour and flavour. While the green peas, spinach, mint and lemon zest (optional) combine to create a burst of spring flavour, the buckwheat follows to temper the storm and provide a subtle nutty creaminess. Did I mention the no-stirring?
If you like this recipe, please check out my cookbook. Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family is full of simple, carnivore-approved family recipes.
Green Pea Buckwheat Risotto with Mint
- 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
- 2 and ½ cups cold water to cover groats
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups green peas blanched
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
- cracked pepper
- sea salt to taste
- Place the buckwheat groats in a bowl and cover with cold water and the apple cider vinegar. Leave for at least three hours or overnight.
- Rinse the groats thoroughly and set aside. Bring a medium pot of water to the boil over medium heat and add the frozen green peas. Cook for 1-minute before removing them from the heat, straining them and running the peas under cold water to cool. Set aside.
- In a large pan, heat the olive over medium heat and add the garlic to sautée until fragrant - around 1 minute.
- Add the buckwheat groats and stir.
- Add the stock and turn the heat to low-medium.
- Meanwhile, put half the blanched peas plus all of the mint, baby spinach and a few tablsepoons of water in to a blender and blend until smooth. Add a touch more water if needed.
- Add the remaining peas and pulse a few times to roughly chop; we want to maintain some texture.
- Pour the pea mixture in to the buckwheat pan and stir through. Add the lemon zest (optional)
- Cook for five minutes or until the buckwheat is al dente and most of the stock has absorbed. I remove my risotto from the pan when the mixture is still loose and there is a little liquid still remaining. The buckwheat will continue to absorb so this just prevents the risotto from gettng gluggy.
- Season with salt and pepper to serve with a sprinkling of vegan parmesan.