Beet & Buckwheat Salad with Citrus and Tofu Feta
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Buckwheat, beet, and citrus salad // Choosing Raw

Every day, nutrition clients ask me about different whole grains. I always rattle of a list of my favorites: rice, quinoa, millet, oats, buckwheat. When clients ask me about buckwheat, I’m quick to sing its praises, noting that it’s got a pleasantly nutty flavor; that, in spite of the name,  it’s wheat free and gluten free, thus suitable for folks who follow gluten free diets; that it’s actually a pseudograin, or fruit seed (related to rhubarb and sorrel); that, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s thought to aid digestive troubles and high blood pressure; that it’s rich in fiber, magnesium, and manganese, the latter of which is associated with bone health.

The truth is that, in spite of how quick I am to recommend buckwheat, I don’t use it nearly enough in my kitchen. Long ago, I started to use it as a raw breakfast cereal (buckwheaties), and I made it the base ingredient in my raw granolas. Since then, I’ve really slacked on finding new ways to use it. I sometimes purchase kasha (roasted buckwheat) and use it as a breakfast cereal, but surely there’s a lot more to do with this wonderful, healthy ingredient than that.


This delightfully colorful salad is my ode to the whole grain that I so often neglect in my kitchen. In preparing it, I was reminded of how much I love the nutty flavor and chewy texture of buckwheat. It also occurred to me that buckwheat is actually a great gluten-free substitute for farro or barley–both of which have irresistible chew, but aren’t suitable for gluten and wheat free diets. Buckwheat has a nice, toothsome quality, and unlike rice or millet, it’s got plenty of chew.

I kept this salad seasonal, using a bunch of beets I’d picked up over the weekend and some simple chopped celery. I also decided to top the salad with fresh citrus slices (and use some citrus in the dressing). I’m going through a bit of an orange obsession right now, and it felt right.


The sunflower “feta” in this recipe adds a salty, tangy bite. I love the taste, but I do want to note that you could easily omit it, and in its place, you could simply sprinkle about a quarter cup of sunflower seeds (toasted or raw) over the finished dish. You could also use my herbed cashew cheese recipe instead, my lemon pepper brazil nut cheese, or my tofu ricotta.

Buckwheat, beet, and citrus salad // Choosing Raw
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Beet & Buckwheat Salad with Citrus and Tofu Feta

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 batch simple oven roasted beets (chopped into 3/4-inch / 2cm pieces)
  • 1 cup orange sections or canned mandarin orange segments, packed in juice (115g)
  • 1 1/2 cups tofu feta (crumbled; reserve the rest of the batch for other uses or freeze until needed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 batch orange miso vinaigrette


  • Bring a medium large pot of water to boil. Rinse the buckwheat through a fine mesh strainer and add the groats to the boiling water. Boil the groats for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain them through the strainer, then run them under cold, running water until the water runs clear. Drain the groats thoroughly, then transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the chopped beets, orange sections or segments, tofu feta, and parsley to the bowl. Pour the miso dressing over the ingredients. Toss to combine well.
  • Serve or store the grain salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

So much texture, color, and flavor in this salad. You could serve it with lightly dressed greens for a simple lunch, or with soup and a hearty vegetable side for dinner.

Buckwheat, beet, and citrus salad // Choosing Raw

Buckwheat, beet, and citrus salad // Choosing Raw


Another wonderful advantage of buckwheat? It cooks so quickly! I was amazed at how easy it was to prepare (totally on par with quinoa). I’m definitely inspired to make buckwheat a more regular part of my diet–it’ll be perfect for porridge, lunch salads, and other easy recipes.

Hopefully you’re inspired to give buckwheat a chance, too. Enjoy the recipe, and enjoy the start of your weekends!



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Categories: Recipes, Salads, Meal Sized Salads
Ingredients: Beets
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan

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  1. I usually forget about buckwheat too, but I’m always so happy every time I make it. I made the sunflower seed feta portion of this recipe tonight and I loved it! I added a bit of miso to it too, to give it some more tang. Very delicious 🙂

  2. I feel the same way about buckwheat too, I love it but I don’t cook with it enough….inspired now. The salad and photos look great

  3. I made this today, Gena, and it was excellent! Beets are all over our farmers markets, and oranges from Spain are still all over grocery stores, so it was a perfect seasonal dish!

  4. I never have luck with cooking buckwheat! It always ends up clumping together and getting really dense. I’ll have to try following your instructions next time.. maybe I’ll have more luck! The recipe looks delicious, by the way!

  5. I am also found of buckwheat, since I’m a kid. Now I put some in several recipes, cooked and raw. It is a grain that grows well in nordic climate and poor soils as it does’it need much warm, fertilizing and pesticides. ‘I like to put soy feta in my beet salad, but I liked this sunflower seeds pate too!
    And I added fennel, which goes so well with beets and oranges.

  6. HI Gena–That sunflower feta looks really interesting! And I LOVE the photograph of the oranges. 🙂 Thanks!

  7. This is such a beautiful dish! I’ve never eaten buckwheat (though I love farro and barley), but I need to remedy that ASAP. I love the simplicity of this (& most of your recipes) but I’m sure it’s bursting with flavor.