Buckwheat Risotto with Mushrooms and Leeks

This buckwheat risotto is a hearty dish packed with flavorful mushrooms and leeks.

I don’t know what I want to tell you guys about today. So many things…

We could talk about how I had the meal of a lifetime last Thursday at Blue Hill Stone Barns and tried things like plankton (too fishy and ocean tasting for me), fried pigs ears (omg, the best thing on this planet) and venison tongue (not my thing at all) among 30 something plates of food with the best service I’ve ever encountered (although when you’re paying close to a mortgage payment for dinner, it damn well better be).

We could talk about how I cooked a 20 pound ham yesterday so we can chat about how to use up all those ham leftovers for Easter you’re gonna have later this week and how there’s barely an inch of free space in my fridge now because of it. Ham for daysssssss.

Or, we could talk about how I turn 32 today.

Buckwheat risotto made with mushrooms and leeks

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But I’d rather not because I’m pretending it’s not actually happening.

A vegetarian risotto made with buckwheat and packed with mushrooms and leeks

So let’s talk about risotto instead.

Risotto with mushrooms and leeks and made from buckwheat groats

It took some courage to buy these buckwheat groats because last time I bought buckwheat in bulk, I got a beetle infestation in my pantry that originated in the bag of buckwheat. Outside of the moth/worm infestation I had one other time (also from bulk food buying, great track record, huh?), it was the grossest experience of my life and I spent an entire day throwing out food and cleaning shelves. So this time, I bought a small amount, ground most of it into flour immediately and decided to use the remaining groats asap to avoid any lurking infestations.

I love the heartiness of buckwheat and it really stands up well in a risotto. It’s remains chewy enough while still tender and pairs really well with the savory mushrooms and leeks that get cooked up in butter and red wine. It also goes deliciously with a side (or 50) of ham.

Yield: 4 servings

Buckwheat Risotto with Mushrooms and Leeks

Buckwheat Risotto with Mushrooms and Leeks

This buckwheat risotto is a hearty dish packed with flavorful mushrooms and leeks.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used a combination of button, portobello and shitake)
  • kosher salt
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced into half circles
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 cups warmed vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a dutch oven over medium-low heat.
  2. Once melted, add the mushrooms and a pinch of kosher salt. Toss to coat the mushrooms in the butter.
  3. Let cook for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have given off all their liquid and it's evaporated. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the other tablespoon of butter to the pot.
  5. Once melted, add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
  6. Add the garlic and buckwheat groats to the pot. Toss and let cook so the garlic becomes fragrant and the buckwheat "toasts", about 1-2 miinutes.
  7. Add the wine to the pot, stir and let cook until it's completely absorbed.
  8. At this point, ladle in the vegetable broth about 1/2 cup at a time, keeping the mixture at a low simmer.
  9. As the liquid starts to get absorbed by the buckwheat, add a bit more to the pot until you've used all 3 cups and it's been absorbed fully by the buckwheat. The buckwheat should be tender at this point.
  10. Turn off the heat, add the mushrooms and parmesan to the pot and stir to combine.
  11. Serve with parsley and extra parmesan.

16 Comments

  1. Nutmeg Nanny

    Happy Birthday!!!! I’m so happy I was able to celebrate with you on Thursday :) I totally remember when you had that beetle issue and now my skin is crawling just thinking about that. I need to go through my pantry now just to double check…

    Reply
  2. Naomi

    Happy Birthday! Buckwheat and mushrooms are an amazing combination. I first had them in Russia on a biz trip. Thanks for posting this! I turn 31 next month and am not looking forward to it either so I know how u feel!

    Reply
  3. Tina Muir

    Happy belated birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day! I cant believe you tried pig ears….and it was good!…not sure how I feel about that one….and I am pretty open minded about food!

    Risotto is one of my favorite meals, and mushroom risotto was something my dad used to make when we were kids, that is interesting using buckwheat instead, but I can see how it would work well! YUM!

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      the pigs ears were like bacon x50. So amazing. And they were cut into small pieces so it wasn’t like looking at an ear and chomping away at it ;)

      Reply
  4. Denisse@Le Petit Chef

    Happy 32nd from a fellow 32 year old! Don’t freak, it’s a great age! Never thought to make “risotto” from buckwheat, I have done barley and farro risottos though, so this will be something new to try out!

    Reply
  5. Julia @Vikalinka

    I am so excited to see a buckwheat recipe from someone of non-Slavic background. :-) Buckwheat and mushrooms is such a classic combination for me, I ate so much of that stuff growing up and one of the first posts I published on my blog! Have you ever tried cooking with roasted buckwheat groats? They are much darker in colour and have deeper, richer flavour. Absolutely amazing. Beautiful blog, Gina, so glad to have found you!

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Hi Julia! Thanks for stopping by :) I haven’t tried making anything with the roasted groats yet. It’s called kasha, right? I’ve seen them though and always think about buying them but just haven’t yet. I wonder if I can just roast the groats I have and make my own?!

      Reply
  6. Emmy

    For better “risotto” consistency, mix 1 cup of cashews with water and parsley in a blender to make a creamy sauce and mix in right before serving.

    Reply
  7. Tess

    I made this for dinner last night – it was fabulous! I had fresh made chicken stock, so I used that, and put in a couple of drops of black truffle oil to finish it. Wonderful! Thanks heaps for a great recipe!

    Reply

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