Buckwheat and Leek Risotto with Roasted Broccoli and Pine Nuts

, from Issue #61. September, 2015
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Buckwheat and Leek Risotto with Roasted Broccoli and Pine Nuts

This risotto is a perfect example of how moving to a more wholefood-focused diet doesn’t mean saying goodbye to comfort foods. Hearty, wholesome and rich, this is perfect for chilly nights. Note: Buckwheat must be soaked overnight or for at least eight hours prior to starting this recipe.

Serves: 4


1 cup buckwheat (not the pre-toasted variety, which is often called ‘kasha’)
ghee or olive oil for sautéing and roasting (3 tablespoons for sautéing and 3 tablespoons for roasting)
1 leek, trimmed and finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
½ teaspoon dried tarragon
½ cup white wine
zest one lemon
1 bay leaf
3½ cups vegetable stock (you could also use chicken)
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
2 medium-sized broccoli heads, cut into florets

To serve
extra Parmesan
pine nuts 


Place buckwheat in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse well under running water until the grain is no longer gluggy. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the broccoli in an ovenproof dish. Toss well with oil and roast until tender and the tips are browned. Season with salt and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and cook gently, without browning, until translucent and soft.

Add the tarragon, wine, buckwheat, lemon zest, bay leaf and roughly half the stock. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat slightly and cook until the liquid is almost entirely absorbed – stirring often. Remove the bay leaf after 15 minutes. Continue to add the stock half a cup at a time and stir regularly. This will take approximately 45 minutes.

The risotto is ready when the buckwheat is tender and the texture is creamy and not too soupy. Stir through the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Divide the risotto between four bowls. Top with the roasted broccoli, a generous sprinkling of pine nuts and grate over a little additional Parmesan. Serve immediately.