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Buckwheat Salad with Garden Greens & Grilled Lemon Dressing

Buckwheat isn’t actually a grain and it’s gluten free. In fact, buckwheat has no relation to wheat at all! It’s actually a seed that is high in fiber and a complete protein and I personally love it in a salad or side dish to highlight the texture and nuttiness. This dish can serve as a salad or a side dish, your choice. Grilling the lemon enhances the sweetness in the lemon, bringing an extra element to the dressing. I add fresh herbs and finish it with creamy almond ricotta cheese.

Buckwheat Salad with Garden Greens & Grilled Lemon Dressing 

Serves 4

Ingredients
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 pound trimmed & diced fresh asparagus, (cut lower third off and dice into 1 inch slices)
1 cup cucumber chopped
1 cup fresh English peas
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
2 T. fresh mint, chopped 
1/2 cup crumbled Kite Hill “ricotta” cheese, optional
Dressing:
1/4 cup + 1 T. olive oil
Juice of one grilled lemon (optional to grill or roast in the oven, cut in half before grilling or roasting)
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt and cracked pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano or thyme

Directions: 
In a medium soup or stock pot, bring water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Add the buckwheat groats, reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool in the fridge.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, juiced grilled lemons, cracked pepper and sea salt, Dijon mustard, and oregano. Whisk until emulsified – you could also add all ingredients and emulsify in the blender.
Toss the remaining ingredients: asparagus, peas, cucumber, parsley, dill and Kite Hill with the chilled buckwheat groats and toss with the dressing. Season with additional sea salt and pepper. Can be served chilled or at room temperature.

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