Last updated on April 11th, 2021 at 08:00 am
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?
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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.
Still one of my favourite recipes. This is my ‘go to’ when my wife asks me to cook. Keep ‘em coming!
I loved this, and it was so easy!! I added wine in for part of the broth, subbed kale for the spinach, and left out the oil and salt.
It says serves 3 but we had seven x 3/4c portion sizes.
Wine is an awesome idea! I love that you adjusted the recipe to make it your own. Fantastic! Thanks so much for letting me know. x
This dish was delicious, so fresh and green and perfect for spring! I used frozen peas and thawed them under running water, and followed the instructions as if they were fresh. I will definitely make this again!
Such a vibrant, glorious green color! I feel happier just looking at these photos.
It is a happy dish, Hannah! Such a lovely vibrant green. I am so glad you like it. Thank you. xx
Hello! This recipe looks delicious. Just a couple of questions: Could this be done in a slow cooker, and if so, how would you adapt it? Also, can this be frozen? (I'm a student who batch-cooks a lot!)
Hi Isabel, thanks for dropping by. I haven't made this risotto in a slow cooker - it's designed to be a quick and dirty dish BUT I did a little homework and found this recipe for a slow cooker buckwheat soup - http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/47408/slow-cooker-buckwheat-vegetable-soup.aspx
For my green pea risotto I would only soak the groats for 20 minutes before cooking. Place them in the slow cooker with the cooked garlic and 2 and 1/2 cups of stock for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours on high or until the groats are just tender. Stir in the blended peas, mint and spinach and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. You may need to add a little more stock to keep the risotto loose. Buckwheat will continue to absorb moisture so looser is better. Allow it to cook and freeze in a freezer-proof container.
Let me know how it goes! 🙂
Hi, just wanted to comment on here that I soaked the groats in the ACV brine for about 4-5 hours and they turned into mush within 10 minutes of cooking =(
I will try this recipe again without brining...
just a warning in case anyone trying this needs it to work the first time around
Hi Ursula, I am sorry that happened to your groats. I have never heard of this before. Activating them is standard to release their nutrients. I have also cooked them without soaking them - they take longer to cook but are still good. Can I ask, they are definitely buckwheat groats you are using? I ask because buckwheat groats don't really ever lose their shape, no matter how long you cook them. They can overcook and become a little gluggy but they still retain their shape. I am hope second time around is better for you.
Is using “Oat Groats” alright instead of “buckwheat groats”?
Hey Jessica, I haven't used oat groats before but I did a quick google and there are recipes for oat groat risotto so, I guess the answer is yes. Let me know how they work out. Good luck! A.
Jaime Puddefoot says
Hi, I can't see the actual recipe anywhere on this page?? Can someone please let me know where I'm going wrong? 🙂
Jaime, you are not wrong. It appears my recipe has gone walkabout. I will re-write it and post again. So sorry for the inconvenience - very strange. Amanda
Hi Jaime, me again. Recipe is up. Thanks for letting me know.
Oh the buckwheat! I grew up eating so much of it. It was very popular in parts of Eastern Europe when I was growing up, i think it still might be just as popular. My mother used to buy toasted russian buckwheat, it's so tasty. I could never find the toasted here in WA. I will have to try your recipe. Thank you for sharing :). your photography and story telling( no matter how short, or long ) is beautiful as always. I will never tire on complimenting on them xx
Gosh, thanks so much Sam. The buckwheat was a bit of a revelation to me but it is so good in a risotto - I don't know that I'll go back to rice any time soon. Thank you very much for your kind words and ever supportive feedback - I really appreciate it. xx
Michelle Alston says
Gorgeous colour!! I sort of like the stirring of risotto, it calms me :-))
That's because you're mad. 😉 NO, I get it. I bake to calm. I am not great at it but it's such a lovely methodical process. x