This dish evolved from a few sources. In a recent weekend Guardian, there was a feature on blackberry recipes that included a blackberry barbecue sauce and a blackberry rice salad. I drew inspiration from both for this: the barbecue sauce allowed me to consider pairing blackberries and paprika, and the rice salad allowed me to think about cooking berries up with grains. The vegetables were chosen based on what I had to hand, and I topped the photographed bowl with falafel because I had some of those about too.
I will readily confess that 'risotto' is a loose title and not strictly accurate. There is no cream or cheese equivalent in the mix, but the cooked buckwheat does have a fluffy comforting texture that was reminiscent of risotto to me.
For those of you who see blackberries in a savoury dish as a bit odd - they really do work. I found the flavour combination of sweet-tart berries with full-bodied paprika particularly nice, and soy sauce (for salt) and cinnamon (for contrast) round out the seasonings. It's an unusual selection of ingredients but it won me over. I think I'll have to try the blackberry barbecue sauce in the future too!
On a final note, I didn't intend to share near consecutive blackberry posts, but I guess they reflect what is happening in my kitchen this week. I'll move on to other ingredients, I promise!
Blackberry and paprika buckwheat risotto
A full-flavoured dish that makes a hearty side or base for a main (just add nuts, falafel, tofu, or protein of choice)
Vegan and low in fat
Author: Bite-sized thoughts, with inspiration from blackcurrant recipes in the Guardian newspaper (August 2015)
1 cup raw untoasted buckwheat (toasted should also be fine but the cooking method may vary)
4 cups water
2 tbsp dried paprika
1 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1-1/2 cups green beans
Corn from 1 head sweetcorn (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 small courgette, chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Toppings, as desired, to serve (falafel balls work well)
Rinse the buckwheat and then place in a large saucepan along with the water. Cover and bring to the boil, before reducing heat to simmering point. Add the paprika and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
When the buckwheat is cooked and the water absorbed, add the blackberries, beans, corn, courgette, soy sauce and cinnamon. Stir through and allow to cook uncovered for a further 10 to 15 minutes on low heat.
Are you a fan of cooked buckwheat? Are there dishes featuring it you would recommend?