Arugula & Walnut Buckwheat Risotto

Buckwheat'sgot a spell on me. Its nutty flavor, chewy texture, and beautiful hue are irresistible. I’m smitten! I might have had some sad soba noodles at a brightly lit college-town Japanese restaurant at some point or another during my early to me. You might have noticed that this is the third of three consecutive buckwheat recipes. I made tasty buckwheat noodles, a hearty kale salad with crispy buckwheat groats, and now, a decadent buckwheat risotto to console all and any February blues.

Inspired by an earthy seed risotto a friend recently had at ACME, this recipe is unlike any risotto I have ever made. With aromatic fennel and buckwheat groats as a flavorful and hearty base, this risotto is decadent and robust. Over low heat, these two cook until tender and creamy. When ready to serve, walnuts, arugula, and a nutty spoonful of creamy tahini are added for texture, flavor, and richness. Warm and toothy, the ingredients blend together for a wholesome bowl of tasty goodness. The grassy bitterness of fresh arugula marries beautiful with walnuts, buckwheat, and tahini, making each mouthful balanced, exciting, and unique.

As the last buckwheat recipe in this mini series, I hope to have convinced you this nutritional powerhouse deserves a spot in your pantry and a little bit of your love.

Arugula & Walnut Buckwheat Risotto

 Serves 3-4

Cook time about 40 minutes

  • 3 cup vegetable broth, plus more if needed 
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • ½ large fennel bulb thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, more or less to taste
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1-inch knob fresh ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • ½ walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 handful fresh fennel fronds

Pour vegetable broth into a small pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low keep broth warm.

Place a large pot, ideally a dutch oven, over medium heat. Heat through for three to five minutes. Pot should be warm, but not smoking. Add coconut oil, thinly sliced fennel, and a pinch of salt. Cook stirring occasionally for five to seven minutes, until fennel becomes soft, fragrant, and translucent. Add cumin powder, garlic, fresh ginger, and bay leaf. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Add buckwheat groats. Cook for two minutes, stirring evenly to coat groats. Add 1 cup of vegetable broth. Stirring often, cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add another half cup of vegetable broth, and stir, cooking over medium heat until absorbed. Repeat until all three cups of vegetable broth have been incorporated into risotto. Buckwheat should be cooked and al dente. If groats are not fully cooked, add more broth until desired consistency is achieved.

Stir in tahini. Add coarsely chopped walnuts and arugula. Stir until evenly distributed. Spoon into plates, and garnish with fresh fennel fronds. Serve immediately!