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Buckwheat with Paprika and White Zucchini

Kristina Vicheva from Bulgaria

Serves
2
Preparation
15 minutes
Cooks in
30 minutes
Country of origin
Bulgaria

Back when I started on my first paid position I always wondered where to spend my lunch time eating something tasty. I befriended one of the colleagues who liked to take me to lunch in a restaurant where bio- and healthy-style dishes with seasonal vegetables were also offered. She always took something with buckwheat or millet or quinoa – stuff that I always looked at suspiciously because it was unknown to me then. I unconsciously expected to see her dead or at least with diarrhea after eating those and struggled how to turn down politely her offers to taste it. At some point she was not more than alive and kicking but also moved to Vienna to do her Master’s degree. I realized then how much I missed her – you know, best friends. This is why we soon initiated several reunions – I visited her in Vienna, she came back to Bulgaria, we tried to meet in other countries like Croatia etc. In the meantime I made myself taste those weird dishes and it turned out they are delicious – bitter or tasty, or salty, with nettle and corn, or with eggplant and mushrooms – a whole variety, all having the potential of reminding me of my best time with her. But I was waiting all the time for one particular food combination which, sadly, was offered rarely. I decided to put a fullstop on this food nostalgia and to try to prepare on my own that first dish I remember she offered me – Buckwheat with Paprika and White Zucchini. It took my entire cook skill to think of how to cook it, so that it resembles the dish from the restaurant. This unfolded my cook imagination – since then I walk down the street and from time to time I wonder what and how to mix and match – millet with curry and raisins or buckwheat with broccoli and cucumbers. How would it taste if fried or boiled or just left fresh. Mmmm. However, when I cook Buckwheat with Paprika and White Zucchini I remember of our time together in Sofia and Vienna and start planning where can we meet next and explore the world.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat
  • 2 paprikas
  • 1 white zucchini
  • salt
  • oil
  • parsley for decoration

Method

  • Peel and dice the zucchini. Put it in boiled salted water for 2-3 minutes to let it soften. Drain it.
  • Bring the buckwheat to the boil and drain the first water when it becomes reddish to avoid the buckwheat’s slightly bitter taste. Bring it to the boil in clean water, salt it and cook it for about 7-10 minutes (until its kernels get softer).
  • When the buckwheat is done, drain it, shower it with cold water and drain it again – this will prevent it from getting sticky and creamy-like.
  • Dice the paprika. Preheat a pan with oil and mix the paprika and the zucchini in it. Try not to let them change their colour – allow them only to absorb the sunflower aroma. Add the buckwheat and fry for 30-60 seconds to let the ingredients mix their aromas.
  • Decorate with parsley and serve hot. It can be served with bread if consumed.

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