Monday, December 21, 2009

Vegetables Paprikash with Poppy Seeds and Kasha

When we were growing up, my mother would sometimes make Kasha Varnishkes, a traditional Eastern European Jewish dish of kasha (buckwheat groats) with bow-tie pasta and slow-cooked onions. I loved it, so when I saw this recipe that uses kasha as a bed for creamy, paprika-laced vegetables, I knew I had to try it. It may not make for a beautiful photograph, but with a salad and some bread it made for a warming, filling meal on this first night of winter.

Vegetables Paprikash with Poppy Seeds and Kasha
The Best 125 Meatless Main Dishes, Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay

The Kasha:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped green cabbage
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups dry kasha (buckwheat groats)
2 1/2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt
Several grinds pepper

The Vegetables:
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons paprika
1 medium cauliflower, cut into medium florets
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/2 cup firmly packed minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and saute the cabbage and garlic for about 2 minutes, then stir in the kasha and toast it, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Stir in the water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes.

Put the water in a large dutch oven or stockpot and stir in the paprika. Add the onion and celery and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Stir the cauliflower, mushrooms, and carrot into the onions so that everything is coated with the paprika. Stir in the salt, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the sour cream with the yogurt, horseradish, and parsley. When the vegetables are done, whisk a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid into the sour cream mixture to warm it a bit, then gently stir the sour cream into the pot to coat the vegetables. heat over a tiny flame for 1 minute only.

Arrange the kasha in a ring around the edge of a large platter, drizzling it with a little sauce. Spoon the creamed vegetables into the center and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Serve immediately.

6 servings

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